Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Vows

Greetings!  We are less than 2 months away from our big event.  Our vows will be exchanged on the West Steps of our state Capitol.  Planning is moving along smoothly.  Dan and I have been coordinating all the arrangements on our own.  Because we've been together for 23 years, we originally decided to celebrate our legal union with a nice dinner reception for friends and family.  However, once we shared the news, everyone was excited AND expressed their wish to see a wedding.  Their earnestness convinced me that we needed to have a vows ceremony.  It took awhile, but I finally got Dan to agree.  But, he still asks "what happened to simple?"...as if.
Surprisingly, we were able to obtain an event permit for our date despite the short notice. The location works perfectly since our reception is across the street.  The West Steps are considered the most iconic section of this neoclassical structure.
Aside from the classic architecture, the West Steps have a vast open space making it a landmark for public demonstrations.  In fact, we attended Marriage Equality rallies there.  So, a wedding on the West Steps can be seen as a full circle for equality. The unobstructed view down Capitol Mall street leading to the Tower Bridge is a spectacular sight.
Construction of the building began in 1860 and was completed in 1874. The Statehouse was designed by Reuben Clark and  M. Federic Butler.
The above rendering is believed to have been created by Reuben Clark as his vision of the completed project.

Unfortunately, having any event on the property is a BYOE(bring you own equipment) event.  This means we have to make our own arrangements for accommodating for our guests.  I rented gold chiavari chairs from Celebrations Party Rental.  To protect attendants from the potential glaring sun and heat, I purchased inexpensive, but useful,  parasols and fans for their comfort. I chose Green and Yellow-Gold. They are 2 of the 4 colors for our "garden" theme colored event.  Please stay tuned as I share the reception venue.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I DO

Wedding Inspiration Board
My partner Dan and I met on January 25, 1991.  We have been inseparable since.  After 23 years together we decided to join in legal matrimony.  Our special date is May 17th.  We are so excited.  I am looking forward to sharing all the planning details with you leading up to our special day.  Please stay tuned.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Who Is Andres Amador?

Currently making the social media rounds are photographs showcasing beautifully created artwork on the sandy shores of Northern California near San Francisco by a local artist name Andres Amador. What tool does this artist uses to sculpt these masterpieces? A rake and a rope.

Bio from Andresamadorarts.com
Andres Amador was born in 1971 in San Francisco, growing up and surrounded by the famous building-sized murals of the Mission district.


After graduating in Environmental Sciences from UC Davis, Andres served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador, where he developed conservation education curricula for rural schools.
Upon returning from his tour he began exploring the art scene of San Francisco, eventually leading him to Burning Man. 

This sparked an already smouldering journey of self-expression, which has spanned 15 years and multiple forms including dance and movement, sculpture and painting, all of which have been featured nationally and internationally.


The latest focus, the Earthscape Art paintings on the beach, was inspired while doing calligraphy on the beach with a walking stick. The artworks can span over 100,000 feet, achievable only during low tide. 

With tight time constraints and big goals, Andres is posed with the question: ‘How does one efficiently create from within that which one is creating?’ Explorating this concept of self-creation has brought Andres to investigate natural and human-devised systems of structure and growth.


His artworks does not last long- within minutes of finishing a piece, and often while still in progress, the returning tide begins resetting the canvas. 



Andres has been featured by the BBC, CNN and numerous T.V. programs and periodicals globally. His artwork has appeared on beaches in the US and internationally, with his primary canvas being the Northern California coastline.

For more photos of Andres work, visit Andresamadorarts.com

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Vaulted Ceilings: Waste of Space or Open Attraction?

By: Linda Bailey/housekeeping.org

There are some people that look at a beautiful vaulted ceiling and see nothing more than a waste

of living space. Many rooms can be developed in these areas providing additional functionality

for larger families or creating space to set up a library or office. If there is sufficient room and it's

developed properly, you can add a full extra level to the house including bathrooms. However,

does a vaulted ceiling need to be viewed at in such a way?
(image via DLlibrary.org)

Open Space - There are a lot of people on this planet that enjoy the open area that a vaulted

ceiling provides. Instead of the feeling of being contained in a box, there is a great deal of

freedom that is felt when moving about. This extra space can help you decorate with more

elaborate designs as you're not restricted to an eight-foot vertical plane - which is the average

height of a room from floor to ceiling.
(image via hgtv.com)

Larger than it Looks - In many cases, vaulted ceilings make the home seem larger than it looks

from the outside. Although the same amount of space is being utilized, it has the "genii in a

bottle" effect where the home looks small outside while being enormous inside. It's nothing more

than a visual effect, but it could make the home buyer feel like he or she is getting more house

for their money.
(image via homedsignlovers)

Air Conditioning - Keeping the room at a regulated temperature could fluctuate greatly in a

home with vaulted ceilings. Unless the roofing material and the insulation were designed with

energy efficient components and compounds, your heating bills during the winter could be

somewhat high as heat rises. However, cooling in the summertime could be easy as cold air

sinks. The additional space does provide ample room to install energy efficient fans and systems

that can easily regulate the temperatures in the home.
A French chateau barrel vaulted ceiling (image via Elle Decor)

Noise from Above Foot Traffic - One of the drawbacks to having any room over your head is

the sound of various foot traffic by those in that particular room. Depending how the house is

built, the sound that travels can echo through the lower levels that could make kittens playing

sound like a herd of elephants trampling throughout the house. Perhaps children are playing in

the rooms above - this provides the same effect but the elephants are replaced by mastodons.

Every thump can almost be felt in multilevel homes.
photo via interest

Visual Appeal - Like most features of a home, vaulted ceilings are attractive to those who relish

in the beauty of a finely decorated system of braces and beams - even if these beams are fake.

To the right person, a vaulted ceiling could greatly increase the value of the home to a buyer or

renter. They can be designed with elegance and decorative carvings or additions adding can be

reminiscent of the outdoors such as living vines wrapping themselves around the beams. There is

so much that can be done to a vaulted ceiling to offer a wide variety of aesthetic nuance.

What it truly boils down to is taste. Although some enjoy the aspects of a vaulted ceiling, others

would rather have the extra room for functionality and expansion. Regardless of your housing

needs, there is no right or wrong way to decorate if you are happy in your surroundings.

Author Bio:

This post is contributed by Linda Bailey from housekeeping.org. She is a Texas-based writer

who loves to write on the topics of housekeeping, green living, home décor, and more. She

welcomes your comments which can be sent to b.lindahousekeeping @ gmail.com.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy Holidays From Beaux Mondes Designs


Just sharing this years family holiday photo and wishing all our readers,friends and family a joyous holiday season and peaceful new year from Julio,Dan & Daniel.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Furnishing Tips for First Timers

By: Jason Kane-Superior Table Pads


Most typical first-time homeowners cannot afford to be profligate when they look around for home furnishings. They can feel overwhelmed by what they must do to furnish their new homes. Costs can get out of control; planning and research can help to keep them down. The following tips may help first-time homeowners find what they need and want at financially affordable costs.
Spread it out
There may be an urge to furnish the entire house right from the start but it is economically smarter to spread out large purchases over several months to see which rooms get most use most and then invest accordingly. Some interior designers say to live in a new house at least two months before making substantial purchases. Actual use of the house may turn out to be different from anticipated use. A bathroom renovation may not be as necessary as kitchen and dining area improvements for food storage and preparation. The living room chaise might be better in a bedroom and the bedroom love seat better in the den.
Home furnishings need not match like those in a store display. Mixed and matched pieces from various stores at different prices create unique styles. Retailers perpetuate the idea that everything must be in matching sets that actually produce the lifelessness of a retail showroom. Proportion should be a priority in every room along with scale and balance in furniture and accessories. Several pieces of oversize furniture overcrowd a small room with a low ceiling unduly while a low buffet and a small, delicate dining table give a large room with a soaring ceiling an air of emptiness.
Go second-hand
Big retailers who draw customers with slick TV commercials and colorful ads are not the best or only options. Consignment shops or antiquary markets sometimes stock unique pieces in good condition. With a little refurbishment, second-hand furniture pieces can be great budget savers. Inexpensive accessories can bring new life to old furnishings. New sofa pillows, a new bed cover, or a new table runner can change and refresh furniture appearance without undue expense. It may not be necessary to rip fixtures out for remodeling. New paint and a set of new doorknobs can restore drab kitchen cabinets to look fresh and nearly new. Inexpensive drapes and a coat of paint can revive a room to make old furniture look much better.
Scour yard sales
Photo via Google image
For new home buyers with ideas of how to furnish and decorate their homes there are some atypical shopping spots. In the spring and summer, they can find some good buys at yard, garage, or rummage sales that can be gold mines for second-hand furnishings. Last summer a white wicker bench sold at a yard sale for only six dollars where a new one would cost at least $150.00. Saturday mornings are the best times for garage sales. Newspapers list garage sales in their classified ad sections. In metropolitan areas, Craigslist.org postings can save new home owners lots of money. Furnishings are easy to find because the website categorizes and dates all listings.
Jason Kane is an avid décor blogger for Superior Table Pads. In addition to blogging, he enjoys fine wine and helping his friends decorate their homes.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Incorporating a modern style with an older property

By:  Mark Finch

One of the most challenging obstacles in renovating an older style property is incorporating modern comforts into the design without destroying the character of the house. The most effective way of achieving this is to put a twist on the original design of the house. Bring modern style into the equation by choosing designs which are a contemporary version of an outdated style. Modern living tends to utilize all aspects of a property. Therefore you should consider how to use every nook and cranny which older properties have a tendency to harbor.
photo source: Apple a day beauty

Look carefully at the kitchen and include modern appliances. Forget the old style pantry cupboards where everything gets forgotten at the back, modern beautiful kitchen cupboard doors enclose practical turn about pantries.

If you have stairs, check the space underneath or around it where you can put storage cupboards. A long hallway, so typical of older properties, is ideal for modern design floor coverings.

Pebble Rug by Ksenia for 2form  
Pebble effect woolen rugs are available which are reminiscent of cobblestones. They draw your eye up the whole length of the corridor so don't forget a feature at the end in the form of a lighted alcove, bookcase, stairs with feature coverings or similar.

Bedrooms are often forgotten while restyling a property and these are often fairly large in older properties. Make the most of the space with built in cupboards as unobtrusive as possible. While modern bedrooms tend towards a minimalist look, if you have tall ceilings you can soften the effect with a small chandelier.

 Don't forget the garden in your design. Indeed, you can bring the garden indoors to link the outside and inside. Japanese gardens tend to be minimalistic with highlights of color. Create a formal garden in this style just outside some large windows or french doors, and continue the theme on the inside also.

 Loose river pebble paths can wind their way through the garden, and continue on the edges of the room inside. Or a pebble mosaic can be continued through both the garden and room inside. Bathrooms and kitchens are ideal rooms for needing hard-wearing and washable surfaces so consider continuing the theme into these areas. Don't forget the plants when merging your interior scheme with your exterior scheme. Match what you are growing outside with indoor versions of the plants as much as possible to seamlessly join the two. Wall coverings are another area where careful consideration is needed.

 Many beautiful wallpapers are now available to complement your modern style without compromising the character of the house. But avoid wallpapers in designs such as printed stone as they always fail to achieve a realistic look. If you like the stone effect consider a stone veneer as an alternative.

 These are available is many colors and designs both formal and informal in style. An interior low dividing wall can be made to look like a mountain's dry-stone wall. Topped with simple indoor plants, the effect could be simple but beautiful. Make the most of lighting in your considerations. Encourage natural light into the house by means of minimizing window coverings or adding extra windows or skylights if you are able to. For darker days make the most of modern unobtrusive lighting to highlight your home. Again link the garden to the inside with the continuation of similar lighting, appropriately installed and protected from the elements. So celebrate the uniqueness of your home with ideas to complement and enhance the original construction. Make the most of its character and implement a modern design while remaining sympathetic to the age and style of the property.

 Author: Mark finch currently works with Aggregate Shop as a committed member of the marketing team. Mark enjoys fishing, construction and all manner of DIY, due to this he spends a great deal of his time studying construction and sharing his experiences with others.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Anglo-Indian Inspired Designs

By: Jessica/Arcadian Home

Hi everyone! I'm Jessica, a writer for Arcadian Home, a blog and website where you'll find the latest in interior design trends and just the right pendant lighting to go with them. An interesting period for interior design occurred when the English incorporated their own interior designs into their homes in faraway countries, and they brought furnishings and materials back to England. Today, Anglo-Indian interior designs are still popular, for its mix of traditional English designs and colorful, intricate Indian furnishings. I hope you enjoy!
This spacious, airy living room features a rustic Anglo-Indian daybed and gorgeous white lattice shutters from India. The fresh blue and white color palette gives the room a very cool atmosphere.
A pair of massage tables have been repurposed as coffee tables in this open, casual bedroom. The traditional chandeliers add a classic European feel to the room.
The dark wood furnishings in this room are classic Anglo-Indian décor. The tall rounded windows and the very intricate bed are Indian features, while the small table and chairs are more traditionally European furnishings.
Traditional Indian decorations, like the craved elephants, give this dining room are fun and exotic. The bright gold accents also help brighten the room.
The 18th-century Moghul façade is stunning in this bedroom in London. The room is especially bright and inviting thanks to the brilliantly colored patterns and contemporary lamps.
The décor in this room is all about travel and exotic locations. The wooden folding chairs, nautical wall decor accessories, and model ship have a wonderfully vintage vibe, and the tripod lamps are interesting, as well.
The Anglo-Indian armchairs in this spacious living room add an extra bit of texture and interest to the room. The dark wood furnishings and fresh leafy greenery are beautiful natural touches.
This dining room is full of intricate details and wonderfully crafted furniture. The Indian side chairs, Regency chandelier and vintage yellow vases are beautiful details. What do you think of Anglo-Indian décor? Stop by our blog for inspiring interior designs from around the world, and a huge variety of modern pendant lighting to go with them.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Brunch For A Family Of 3 On The River

Happy Tablescape Thursday!  It's been awhile since I participated in my favorite online blog event.  I am so excited to be able to join this week's celebration.
We are spending our last Summer week at the Dacha.  It's so hard to leave this place whenever we get here.  Daniel's first day back to school is the Tuesday after the Labor Day holiday.  Below are photos of a table I put together on the river.  I had a lot of fun setting this table.    Especially, with nature as my back drop.

The foldable metal chairs above oddly were the inspiration behind this table setting.  We found them at a nearby antique shop for $10.00 each.  They were structurally in great shape.  As you can see they just needed to be repainted.  Papa Dan thought they would be great paired with a small foldable table for dining at the river or even ocean beach.  Naturally, I began to visualize the 3 of us dining on the river with the newly acquired chairs.
Papa Dan spray painting the chairs a hunter green using Rust-Oleum's high gloss.    The little guy supervising to ensure quality workmanship.
 I created the no-sew table topper with tartan fabric,tassel trim,sharp scissors and a glue gun.  It took about 20 minutes to make.  I purchased the fabric and trim from Joann's fabrics about a 30 minutes drive from the cabin.
For more tablescapes and table setting ideas, visit Tablescape Thursdays hosted by Susan of Between Naps On The Porch.