Thursday, November 30, 2006

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.

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