Home Office Before & After

I'd posted a few weeks ago about the small room that we were making into a home office to accommodate Jon's furniture and here are the results.  We are very pleased with how it turned out.  It's a small room (only about 11' by 8') and although I was worried that it would feel like a closet, all the furniture fits in nicely and it's a warm, cozy retreat.  My hope was to give the room a cozy English library look.

 Here is the "before" photo of the above corner of the room.

 And the opposite wall "after" below.

I was concerned that the paint color would be too dark, but the blue-green hue complements the cherry furniture, which was my intent.  I don't normally use such dark paint colors, but white walls would have contrasted strongly with the furniture and done nothing to highlight the color of the wood.   
Above is the "before" photo of the wall against which we placed the desk.

Everything in the room is from Jon's former home, including the Simon Pearce lamp.  The green color of the lamp works well here too.  I chose an oatmeal colored rug, which works well with the furniture and paint color.  Special thanks to designer Frank Hodge for the carpet connection (thank you, Frank!).

The other thing I decided to do was to paint the trim the same color as the walls (in a Satin finish). Since the room is so small, I didn't think that highlighting the trim by painting it white would be a good move. I spent considerable time mulling over the ceiling color and since the ceiling slopes down and is only about six feet high at the back of the room, I toyed with the idea of painting it the same color as the walls. In the end, I went with ceiling-white paint because with only one window and a low ceiling, the room might have felt like a cave if the ceiling color was too dark.
The room is awaiting a custom Roman shade in a fabric that matches the wall color to continue with the idea of a cozy English library.  I'm also looking for a slim upholstered chair for this corner of the room. We also need the carpenter to come back (please!) and rehang the door.  Other than that, we're done and now turning our attention to other rooms in the house.  More to follow, soon and thanks for following along.

It's The Weekend

Photo by Michael Schreiner, here

Please raise your hand (or shovel) if you are ready for spring.  Although it will snow again tomorrow, I'm telling myself not to lose heart.  March is not far off and temperatures will be in the 40s next week.  If you're not living in a wintry climate, it may seem strange or even pathetic to note 40 degree temperatures, but if you've heard the words "winter weather alert" more than four times this season, you may be looking forward to the warm-up too.

Happy Valentines day and think warm thoughts this weekend.

Ina Garten's Napa Valley Kitchen

If you're a fan of Ina Garten's, you probably saw the Barefoot Contessa episodes that were filmed in Napa Valley, California, where Ina and her husband Jeffrey were apparently vacationing.

I was taken not only with Ina's recipes in this series, but also with the kitchen where the episodes were filmed. 

  By the way, the California sunshine looks so inviting that I could have pressed my face against my monitor to soak up some warmth, but managed to restrain myself.  I'm not complaining, but it's January in Boston and with the Polar Vortex and all that, I'm starved for sunshine right now. 

Anyway, a little Internet research yielded the house in Napa Valley where the Barefoot Contessa episodes were filmed.  I've convinced myself that this is  my dream house.  Doesn't this look like a fantastic place to have al fresco breakfast, lunch, and dinner?  The entrance to the kitchen is under the pergola.

This looks like a lovely space to relax with a book and take a nap after lunch.  The website shows the interior of this outbuilding, which is empty, so I haven't included the photo.

Here's the table where Ina and Jeffrey ate lunch and dinner.  Look at that grill in the background.  I can imagine grilling porterhouse steaks for dinner.  Tyler Florence makes an appearance in one of the episodes and prepares steak for Ina at one of his restaurants.

The dining area has plenty of built-in cabinets for storage.  This wasn't shown in the episodes, but it's so pretty, I had to include it.

Ah, the kitchen at last.  I do love this.  The dark (granite?) counter tops are similar to those in Ina's East Hampton barn.  One of my favorite features is the set of pocket doors that leads directly to the patio.  It's perfect for entertaining, isn't it?

The gas cook top is housed in a butcher block island.  And the sunshine....nothing like bringing the outdoors in. 

Another view of the island....

This is my favorite view and one that I remember clearly from the episodes, although the rustic island is not visible on the show.  Do you think that's a Sub Zero refrigerator?  It appears to have a chalkboard finish (and that was my guess from watching the show), but could that be true?  Any ideas?  Whatever it is, the refrigerator is on my wish list.

The photos of the house are from the website of Mint Locations, which represents exceptional properties in Northern California for film and photo shoots.  They have wonderful homes to view if you have some free time and want to see more of this home.