Friday, July 30, 2010

Living large: A look inside the tiny house movement | Need to Know | PBS

(image from

From PBS.Org

Given the state of the current economy, a growing number of Americans with ordinary lives are choosing to scale down — way down. They call themselves the “tiny house” movement. Need to Know visited one of the movement’s proponents, Dee Williams, at her small home in Olympia, Wash.
[Full Story]

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Inspiration For Traditional Living By William R. Eubanks & D. Mitchell Brown

The Living room. This fabulous 4,500 square foot apartment, in Palm Beach, Florida, appeared in the February 2009 issue of Veranda Magazine. Designs like this, by William R. Eubanks and his associate David Mitchell Brown, remind me that classic styles continually produce the biggest(and, in my opinion, the longest) "wow" factor.

I love how Eubanks & Brown creatively tied the homeowner's (Mary M. & Mandell J. Ourisman) beautiful Asian 8 panel coromandel screen into the living room by pulling colors from the piece and carrying them onto the sofa pillows and the wood finishes on the accent chairs and coffee table.

The Library. The dentil molding & picture framed molding walls are a favorite and typical of the classicism style. Our home is an English Tudor revival which aren't known for having such detailed moldings. Especially, smaller interpretations such as ours. However, I'm convinced with our interiors, I can pull it off. We currently have dentil molding in many of the rooms which look great. I hope to someday install picture molding throughout the living,family and dining rooms. The color palette of cream, myriad blue,green and golden hues made a perfect recipe for a sophisticated yet soothing coastal beach front property giving its homeowners the best of both worlds...high style with coastal comfort.

The spectacular black granite floor with the marble cabochon insets in the foyer and gallery is genius, creating a dramatic first impression and giving you a sense of the grandeur to expect throughout the apartment.

The dining room is a show stopper. I love the Tiffany & Co. Pagoda centerpiece. It has definitely given me inspiration to create a similar table setting. The Venetian-style mirror works perfectly against the hand painted silk wallpaper by de Gournay. The entire setting is yet another successful representation on how the"more is more"look can create such a great impact.

The opulent chintz fabric used for the window treatments,chaise by the window and headboard is by Lee Jofa. The colors and textures in the room would make it hard for me to want to get out of bed.

Although all of the images were captured by photographer Kim Sargent, I obtained them from a terrific blog maintained by Buzz Kaplan, Executive Director of C. Mariani Antiques,Restoration & Custom.

Visit Kaplan's blog for his exclusive interview with William R. Eubanks back in January of this year.

Images- Kim Sargent - Photographer
Source-John Francisco Andreu-Decorative Arts historian and contributing writer for Veranda Magazine.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Just about a 90 minutes drive north of San Francisco, in the furthest northern region of Marin county, hidden way in its own little pocket on the coast is the little village of Dillon Beach.

The village has a population count of just under 400 residents with only 114 homes. On my family's first visit to this small town we were pleasantly surprised by its charm and beauty.

It felt as though we had drove into a time warp back to the 1920's. It turns out our first impression of the small town was on point. I learned that most of the cottages on the village's hill are original to the 1920s when the town began to grow as a popular resort location.

(General store on left with cafe on the right)

The village was named after its founder George Dillon who settled here in 1858. It was Dillon's dream to turn the village into a beach resort. In 1903 he sold a portion of his beach front to John Keegan who then laid out plans for the Village.

(A view of the beach from the General store parking lot)

In 1911, Keegan sold his property to the California Eucalyptus Plantation Company. In 1923 Sylvester Lawson leased the town from the California Eucalyptus Plantation Company to build a resort and eventually purchased it in 1926. Since that time, the original Village remained largely untouched. The surrounding environs were developed in the 1970s with the construction of large homes on the hills above the village.

The town is located just 9 miles south of Bodega Bay, where the famous Hitchcock movie "The Birds" was filmed.

The summer weather gives you glimpses of sunshine that heats up the sand but the fog bank rolls in and cools it down by the end of the day.
Winters are the typical northern California coast experiences.

Papa and little Daniel checking out the view from the diminutive but cozy cabins located near the general store. They have the best unobstructed views of the picnic area on the beach.

A view from the main street, Dillon Beach Road,coming from the general store and leading to the beach.

The statue in Dillon's honor sits atop the hill overlooking the town's beach.

The beach has incredible sand dunes that go a great distance along the coast.

A view from the beach below of the part of the village.

This panoramic image from Wikipedia of the coast which includes the newer development to the left and the village on the right.

The road from the beach leading up to the village.

Bumble Bee path is a short cut up through the village.

Some of the interesting cottages in the village.

Most of the homes are under 1,200 square feet which greatly adds to the charm of the area.

The average cost to purchase one of these cottages is currently about $200 per sq. ft.

One of the main reason for this trip was to see if the area was a good place to invest in a coastal vacation home.

This cute cottage is called the S-cape. We really wanted to stay here but unfortunately, it wasn't available that weekend.

Originally, we had our sights set along the north east coast in Massachusetts.

We finally decided to look closer to home so that we can visit more often.

Dillon Beach is only a 2 1/2 hours drive away from our doorstep.

Dan,Cocco,little Dan and I all agree that this would be a great location.

The challenge of course is finding a home that would fit our family and is within our budget.

The home will be a 20 year anniversary(January 25th 2011) gift to ourselves.

Of course I am already excited about fixing it up to suit our style.

This 600 sq ft fixer upper cottage is available for $385K. Direct staircase access to the beach just 6 cottages away. We were unable to get an inside tour during this visit but will be returning the first week of August for a closer look with the Realtor.

The view from the front porch. What is especially nice is that we can also hear the sound of the ocean from here. The cottage is a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom. However, it includes a roomy single car garage below the home that could easily be converted to a second bedroom for the little guy.

This is 3 Bedroom 2 Bathroom vacation home we were lucky to rent on such a short notice(day before arrival). It was the last "pets welcomed" vacation rental available that weekend. Although it's only a block away, it was considered outside the village and part of the "new development" that occurred in the late 70's which apparently was an un welcomed boom for the villagers.

The upstairs great room kitchen combination. This is considered large by the village standards.

Our route from the rental home into the village on the way to the beach.

Ah! only a 7 minutes stroll away...

We spent the entire morning and afternoon at the beach on Saturday. The little American just loved running up then rolling down the sand dunes in the back.

Papa building a sand castle with the Little American while his sister Cocco anxiously waits to trample over it.

Hopefully, this will be a view our family will be able to revisit every summer for years to come.