Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Groundbreaking

Just to make life a bit more intriguing, I think we'll give the husband the code name Mr. Big for the purposes of this blog. No, no, no, not following a Sex in the City fad nor do I have any "personal details" leading to this name (shame on you girls...). Rather, it seems appropriate because everything that we look at when considering this house is supersized. If there are decisions to make between a products, the largest or heaviest or thickest option is always chosen by my dear husband. And something leads me to believe that he wouldn't care to be referred to as Mr. Thick, Mr. Heavy or Mr. Chunky (as in chunky granite of course...). So there it is...he's duly coded as Mr. Big. :)

Backing up a bit here to share a few pictures of the day that the building officially started. To this point in time, we had looked at plans, made changes, looked at the plans some more, made more changes, looked at the plans yet again....and I think you get the picture. So this was the very happy face that greeted us all on the day that the fill officially arrived. Mr. Big in his glory!

I know that this is the boring, painful part so we'll get this over quickly. Here is a shot of the land looking back from the property line. The very few mounds of fill and random wood is all we needed to consider "construction started".

And you know what happens when construction is started, right? Friends come over to celebrate, look at plans...and ride their bikes!

Unfortunately if you are the friends of Mr. and Mrs. Big, your celebration consists of champagne and lime Tostitos (yes, you read that correctly). Ok, so we're not high class... In any case, the neighboorhood gatherings have started...!

My Mother's Daughter

Most people would say that I am my Father's daughter. That is, until you start talking about home decor or shopping. You get to these discussions and it is pretty obvious that my mom taught me something fierce.

Shop for a bargain, find items that are unique, and create a cozy home. Full stop. This woman (my mom of course...) raised three kids, taught tennis, had a thousand friends, but really, her true talent is her ability to create a home. She could give Martha (or anyone else for that matter) a run for their money...and on a budget as well.

So I have always been inspired by beautiful interiors. (My husband groans in the background...) The thing's quite hard to narrow down exactly what you want your interior to be. Should it be rustic? modern? a combination of the two? And without any experience, how do you pull it off?

We recently visited a location in Healdsburg, California that did an excellent job of combining the various elements that "speak to me". The drum roll please and let me introduce...Bella Winery, which has a beautiful barn and wine cave that you never want to leave. Yes, I looked like a complete dork as I ran around the place snapping photos like a tourist (but then again, I was a tourist!).

The barn has the most beautiful interior to start your wine tasting. Look at that fabulous wall of simple, and so obvious once you see it. It's clear that they spent quite a bit of time on the details as even the window trim was out of distressed pine. The concrete floor (I was drooling), the oversized windows, the big doors, the impressive front table...all of it blended together perfectly. If only we could live there...or replicate it!

The wine cave is where you are treated to the best wines in a cool, chic surrounding. Of course, they have an acoustic guitar going, candles everywhere, and a completely "unnecessary" store chock full of goodies.

All the way down the corridor, there are old wine barrels holding treasures tempting even the strongest women...plates and tea sets, candle holders, serving dishes, and all sorts of other table accessories. No, these decadent temptresses cannot replicate good friends at the dinner table...but they sure try.

The whole mood in the cave is electic and casual at the same time. Everything you look at seems to have a personality to it. All of your sense are captured, and yet it is entirely comfortable at the same time. How do you create that feeling in a home? Don't worry, I'm not going to propose that we live in a cave...

(I should mention that the wines at Bella are equally as impressive as the decor...)

I came away from this visit imaging how my mom would tackle this. While I loved everything that made Bella cozy and comfortable, I tend to also like more modern decor. There must be a middle road that I can find...and there I mother's daughter once again.

And we're off

This is what my mind has felt like over the past three years...driftwood. No, I should qualify that statement...driftwood only comes into play when I think about the home that we are building.

Why is this so hard? What with the millions of different directions that this project could go, my vision can simply be swayed to and fro and then back again. My poor husband, I'm sure he wonders where his sensible partner has gone. Oh, but look at all the wonderful tidbits of inspiration that i bring him! His perplexed looks tell me enough...why can't I just make up my mind?

This blog is an attempt to capture all of these crazy home inspirations and, hopefully, pull off the vision that we both have. Wish us luck!