Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Spring 2018 in California

Belated Happy Spring! It's been a beautiful season this year in California. Just wanted to share some favorite photos of spring bouquets I have been enjoying along with a couple of beautiful blooms spotted during my neighborhood strolls. I hope you like.

For more design and style inspiration, please visit The Vintage Nest for the "Share Your Style" party

Monday, March 5, 2018

Ballyfin Hotel


Available now on Amazon Prime is Ballyfin: Portrait of an Irish Country House.  A 54 minutes film about the rise,fall and rebirth of the historical and breath taking Ballyfin Estate.  

The 19th century Neo-classical architecture was built in the 1820 for Sir Charles Henry Coote, 9th Baronet.  Irish architect Richard Morrison and his son William designed this Regency mansion .


After a lengthy restoration the property has become a 5 star hotel.  It opened in 2011.

Salon Reception Room

Sir Christopher Coote Suite

Wellesley-Pole Suite

There are only 20 bedrooms on the property. Each has its own character.

Lady Caroline Coot Suite

Check out this wallpaper.  You will learn from the documentary that it is a trumpe l'oeil paper that creates the illusion of hanging fabric.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

6 on 6TH Avenue Annual Progressive Wine and Dinner Party

Saturday was our block's 5th annual 6 on 6 neighborhood fundraiser progressive dinner.  Each year, 6 homes on our street sign up to host a dinner course paired with a glass of wine,champagne or cocktail for 20 guests.  Appetizer,Salad,Soup,Entree,Cheeses then Dessert.    This year, we asked to serve the 5th course, Fromage.

We set up our table in the blue and white family room.  I used my favorite Hydrangea flowers for the centerpiece.  My original idea was to include the large foo dogs shown in this picture.

My two favorite pairing...blue and white chinoiserie with foo dogs.  Always a hit!  I mixed our blue and white salad plates with our white(shown below)plates.  I also mixed a few  pattern forks including my newly coveted blue and white pagoda flatware from the Enchanted Home.

To create my Hydrangea arrangement, I purchased 45 Hydrangeas and a large 12" diameter floral foam sphere from my local floral wholesaler, Flora Fresh Inc.

I soaked the foam ball for about 15 minutes.  It was very heavy.  In fact, I had to have papa Dan help me place the foam on top of the vase, and transport the entire arrangement from the kitchen to the family room table. 

Once the centerpiece for the fromage table was completed, it was time to start on the living room's mantle and coffee table arrangements.

Unfortunately, I got carried away and overlooked saving enough space for the several cheese trays papa Dan had prepared.  The dilemma could have been resolved by adding the 2 leaves for the table.  However, after knowing the weight of the centerpiece and how scary it was to get it on the table, I decided it would be a lot less stressful and work to just eliminate the foo dogs.

Finally, the table is ready for our guests.   The first course started at 6pm.  Guests were expected to arrive between 8:45pm-9pm.   We had a pianist play French classics including songs by Edith Piaf.

We had a pianist play French classics including songs by Edith Piaf.

Guests finally arrived at 9:00pm ready for a variety of fromages and of course more wine!
 Below are photos sent to me from our co-hosts of some of their appetizers and wines served.

House #1

House #2

House #3

House #4

House #6

I will be joining the "Share Your Style" bloggers party for their #156 celebration.  Please visit The Vintage Nest and join the party for more wonderful and creative decorating ideas.