Nothing Blue About This Inn

Blue-Door-Inn

When I finally made my way to Mendocino on Friday afternoon, I checked into my new favorite bed and breakfast, the Blue Door Inn.  Steven, the innkeeper, was super friendly and welcoming.  The breakfasts were out of this world! Picture french toast stuffed with nutella and bananas with a side of crispy applewood smoked bacon.

From the modern decor to the perfect downtown location to the lovely gardens, it was everything the website promised and more. It’s my new happy place.  And I can’t wait to go back!

Inn

Room

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Living-Room

Dining-Room

Mendocino

Cottage

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Spring Cleaning

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I had the urge over the long weekend to de-clutter and make space for all the new and exciting things that 2013 has in store for me.  I cleaned out closets, got rid of boxes of old clothes, tossed expired canned goods and lined my kitchen cabinets with pretty paper.  It feels good having everything organized, labeled and in it’s proper place.  Cleaning has always given me a little bit of a high and made me feel more in control of my world.

The last item on my spring cleaning “to do” list is revamping my linen closet.  I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve stored my sheets and blankets in a cardboard box in my bedroom closet for more than 6 years now.  Enough!!  I’m on a mission to create the perfect linen closet. Here’s a few pictures I’ve collected from the Internet for inspiration.

It’s pretty clear that an antique armoire is calling my name.  I think it’s time for another trip to the Alameda Flea Market next month.

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Shabby-Chic-Linen-Storage

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Women Who Make Beautiful Things

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(Photo from www.theeverygirl.com)

Book publishing wasn’t her dream job, so Crystal Gentilello created her own by launching Rue Magazine. With no formal training in design or publishing, she’s built Rue into a successful online design destination with more than 10 million pages views per issue.  She even recently partnered with Gap on an advertising campaign.

Crystal’s story proves that passion plus hard work can make beautiful things happen.

Before and After

It’s amazing how you can drastically transform your space by a few simple adjustments.

  • Sick of your brown sofa and unattractive synthetic rug inherited from a friend? Throw on some crisp, white slipcovers and buy a beautiful handmade rug for a major discount at Gilt Home.

Before-Living-Room

(Before)  Sofa-Fireplace

(After)

  • Over the brown plastic doggie crate where Orelia likes to nap?  Whip out the giftwrap and ModgePodge to make it a beautiful retreat worthy of Orelia’s affection.

Crate-Before

(Before)

Crate-After

(After)

  • Not feeling your boring bedroom? Get a faux fur throw, frame photos of your favorite places (Paris pour moi), upgrade your bedside lamp and find a fabulous mirror at the Alameda Flea Market.

Before-Bedrooom

(Before)

Bedroom-After

Bedroom-After-2(After)

Hearst Castle Holiday Cheer

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I was originally planning to spend the holidays here in San Francisco.  Yet, I realized over the weekend that I wasn’t really that jazzed about it.  So I booked a ticket to spend Christmas with my parents in Louisiana; and I’m so excited!  It just wouldn’t feel like Christmas without them.

Last year, they came out to California and we took a road trip down to Hearst Castle.  Architect Julia Morgan designed the palatial estate for newspaper magnate, William R. Hearst, between 1919 and 1947.  She was the the first female admitted to the architecture program at l’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and the first woman architect licensed in California. Rock on, Julia!

The holidays are a great time to visit the museum.  There were very few tourists and even more over-the-top decorations than usual.  We stayed at The Fogcatcher Inn; and I loved hearing the ocean waves crash as I fell asleep at night.

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Hearst-Pool
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Guest-House

Indoor-Pool

Indoor-pool

Beautiful Things

Joseph-Carini

(Photo from Carinilang.com)

While perusing my list of potential Women Who Make Beautiful Things, I couldn’t stop thinking about some incredibly talented men.  Women don’t have a monopoly on beauty.  So I’m opening this up to feature some men who are devoting their lives to making gorgeous things.

I’ve been obsessed with rugs for years.  And I recently spent weeks interviewing carpet makers and sellers as part of a career exploration process.  The one who really stands out is Joseph Carini of Carini Lang in NYC.

His rugs are truly works of art.  Their handcrafted beauty and his extraordinary talent are undeniable.  It’s no surprise that “carpets with soul” come from a man with a beautiful soul.  Thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Joseph.

Carini-Lang

(Photo from Janmacbrands.com)

Carini-Lang-Showroom

(Photo from Carinilang.com)

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(Photo from thelennoxx.com)