"World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party"

This past weekend, we flew across the country for
 The FLORIDA/GEORGIA GAME--click here for more info
Kind of a big deal in our house since my husband attended the University of Florida 
and now our son is a freshman there. 
The game takes place in the neutral territory of Jacksonville, FL
 and the tailgating is sort of an 
"Epic American Cultural Phenomenon."  
When is the last time you had luke warm, foamy beer from a keg?
That's right, at a frat party (one of our many stops).
The Bulldogs and Gators party together happily.

Gator chips next to a Bulldog cake...and they ALL agree on peanuts...
boiled or roasted?  
the Gators lost 20-24
I am not really a football person...
but do you have something FUN like this in your town?

Next post:   Mark's and Mercedes' beautiful Atlantic Beach (next to Jacksonville) home.
Thanks for visiting.

PS.  We missed our flight connection (due to bad weather in the northeast)
so we are spending the night in a Houston airport hotel...not blog worthy.
Oh well, it was still a fun weekend.


for the love of a house • Pillow Addict Guest

Joan from for the love of a house and her husband are doing an amazing 
job restoring their antique farm house in New Hampshire.
Source: Renovation Style
When I read on Cote de Texas that their home was featured in the current 
Renovation Style, I ran out and bought the issue.  It is a great home tour!
Thinking of Joan, 
I picture her cozy fireside kitchen below and
her beautiful cobble stoned walkway.  

With Joan's attention to detail, I was sure she was another pillow nut...

 Thank you to the lovely and talented Mary Ann for inviting me to participate in her "Pillow Addict" series.   It is a well known fact in our house that I have "pillow issues."  So, it's time to come clean...

 Over the years I have designed three custom sofas for our home and within weeks of each one being delivered I have removed the back cushions (that I just had made;) and replaced them with lots of pillows!  (And, for the record- three sets of back cushions take up a lot of space in the attic;) I feel pillows send the message:  please relax and be comfortable in this room!

 As a lover of antiques I often use vintage and antique fabrics in making pillows. Here are pillows from around the farmhouse: Our living room sofa, sans back cushions, is covered with down-filled pillows.  The 18th and 19th century antique tapestries that I had made into pillows are my very best antiquing find and buy...ever!  They share the sofa with light cocoa colored swirl-patterned pillows from Home Goods and two gray velvet pillows, the covers were found at Ikea.  The covers were too large for this grouping, so I had my upholsterer re-size them.
I adore repurposing vintage fur muffs into pillows.  This one is mink. This small pillow, the same velvet on the sofa, was sized to perfectly fit the French chair.
 An antique tapestry piece with pea-green ticking is a pillow in the master closet.
Chocolate velvet pillow from Ikea with antique tapestry pillow on the chaise in the master bedroom.
This pillow was made using the reverse side of the fabric which was softer in color and worked better in the master bedroom.
A large antique Flemish verdure tapestry pillow in one of the guest bedrooms.
This gorgeous piece of  antique red velvet and hand-stitched gold scroll-work was originally a bell pull.  The large linen pillow expands the width of the full-sized bed in the other guest bedroom. 
 Another vintage muff turned pillow- this one in leopard sits in a chair in the reading room.
Antique tapestry pillows at the kitchen dining room table.
  Master bedroom bed pillows.  The large pillow is made from an antique kilim rug. And, finally- another mink muff made into a pillow in the master bath.
Beautiful, unique pillows!!  Great mix of textures with new and antique materials. 
Thanks, Joan.  
Please visit for the love of a house.  


Exterior Lighting for The New Longer Nights

Time to light up and refresh the outside of your home!
My guest post for Houzz.com was just on home page.
You will find my suggestions for looks that 
work in coastal, rustic, traditional and 
even modern outdoor environments.
Some of them we used in the remodel of our own
beach cottage.  See more with links to buy here.
One last thing.... JACK POT!
Look what I won from Sherry at Design Indulgence...
The vintage enamel boxes are in the Mammoth condo, 
the measuring sticks in my office, 
the embroidered linen pillow cases in the guest room, striped fabric TBD 
(my style though), and the chicken wire baskets are here...
Organizing my bath products ...rustic baskets with the all frou frouness 
(not really a word, spell check is going crazy).  
Thanks, Sherry.

And thank YOU for visiting.


Classic Beach Home Details

This is a follow up to the previous post to answer some of your 
questions and provide a few more photographs of Donna's lovely home.
Starting with the kitchen, the surrounding counter tops are Lauretian green granite (actually a very dark black with a hint of green).  Donna cannot remember the type of stone on the island...
just that she saw the slab and and loved it.
She designed this so that you can see the front of the house from the prep sink.
 This appliance garage contains the coffee maker.  Great use of space.
In the living and dining rooms, the wall color is Benjamin Moore Elephant Tusk
 in egg shell and the trim is painted
Dunn Edwards Whisper White in Semi Gloss.
The coffee table is made from an antique French iron window gate.
Donna removed the armoire doors here for display and easier
access (she is storing the doors in case she wants to put them back).
Also, the bedrooms in the previous post are painted
First girl's bedroom:  Dunn Edwards Trinket 
Second girl's bedroom:  Dunn Edwards Elm
Boy's bedroom: Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter

The color of the front door is Sherwin Williams Iron Ore
and the planters were purchased at Rogers Gardens in Newport Beach.
Thanks again, Donna, for the tour!


Newport Beach Classic Home Tour

Knock...knock.  Who's there? 
"Hey, Donna!  Can I snap a few photos pleeeeese?  Your home is beautiful!"
My friend and neighbor, Donna, is a fabulous "function meets detail" designer.
Notice how the arch in the entry way is mimicked in the mantel?
 She has many thoughtful touches in the home that she created for her husband,
three children and two little white dogs (try to find them in this post).
The living room
Notice the beautiful blue and white china?  Many of these items were gifts or
purchased when  Donna's parents in law were corporate expats living in China.
 Xing Dynasty blue and white porcelain (NO football in the house!)
 in the dining room...
The painting is special as it depicts where Donna and her husband 
were married in Wilmington, NC.
The family room is... 
adjacent to the beautiful kitchen. 
                                                                                   Arched built-in for cookbooks.
Craft drawer conveniently located in the island.
 Next to the kitchen is a beautiful butler's pantry
with a separate built-in refrigerator just for drinks! 
 This mud/sand room leading to the garage looks very neat for a family of five.
Cute baskets and see the arch motif again on the bench and
how about that docking station!
This is Donna's special fire bowl invention that she made from a 30" wok.
She had a gas line plumbed to it from the barbecue.
Perfect to gather around during the cooler nights.
Let' go upstairs....

They also have an upstairs family room in the kids' wing.
 Notice the coastal theme.
 The oldest daughter's room is
a beautiful aqua shade and has a fun, Z Gallerie chandelier.
 Donna's middle daughter has a nice space in her room to hang out with friends.
In her boy's room, there is a surfing theme and his water polo medals on display.
Nice bay view from the master bedroom.
 Light filled upstairs laundry room.  OK, I am bit jealous.
 But Donna is thankful for her blessings!
 Here is the door stop leading to the roof top deck...
 with views of Newport Bay and plenty of sunshine.
 "Thanks for the tour, Donna.  Looks like there are no
skeletons in your closets...just in your window!"
Happy Halloween!

PS.  Click here if you missed our new master bedroom and details.

Participating in Open House Party