Bloggers beautiful abodes…Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home

?Sure hope this posts on time as I scheduled this for Monday morning while I am away. I ?am being featured over at Amy Vermillion’s?blog today for her “Whats on my nightstand” posts…such a fun idea! Hope you will come visit me there after reading this post. Click here to visit.

Good morning! Time for another? round of “Bloggers beautiful abodes” and have I got a treat for you! So sit back and savor that cup of coffee or tea and enjoy this post full of beauty and wisdom. ?Say hello to super talented……..

???????????????????????????? ????????
Mary Ann is an uber talented? Newport Beach, California based designer (if she wasn’t so sweet it would be easy to hate her for being lucky enough to live that California dream). She is always doing something gorgeous whether in her own beautiful home or adding her touches to ?her friends ……and trust me they ALL look right out of the pages of your favorite design magazine!?

She has totally nailed the elegant coastal vibe to perfection and I am a huge fan of her work and her blog. Whether she is redoing a guest room, prepping for the most beautiful taco night I have ever seen or planning a little fete in her home…rest assured its something you want to see and take notes on!? Her blog is one I simply do not miss. Period. I feel like we are friends and know we would be fast friends if we ever meet ?If you don’t know of her, be sure you head over to say hello and by all means sign up…..her blog is a total keeper. Enough of me, lets hear from wonderful Mary Ann………

____________________________

Thank you, Tina, for inviting me to tell?
you and your?“enchanting readers”?
a bit about our home in?
Newport Beach, California.?
It’s small, as many homes?
are on Lido Isle
(the island below on the right)
but we can walk or ride bikes?
to the beach. ?

See the patch of grass on the sand? ?
That is the playground for the grammar school where our son attended.
He always came home with sand in his shoes!


1. How long have you been in your present home?? Is this it for the long haul? Anything you would care to change if you could?

It’s a 1950’s cottage that we remodeled and moved into two and a half years ago.
I’m not sure we’ll stay here forever.?
The people inside the home are what’s important to me,
but this would be a comfortable place “for the long haul.” ?

If I could change anything, I wish we had more of a foyer…but there just isn’t room. ?
I do love our dutch door.

2.?If you could only live in two rooms of your house, which two would be the ones?

My bedroom because I like to be lazy and
our patio has been nice to relax in lately.



3. How would you describe your decorating style?

Casual with a little French?
and?classic elegance.


Both the child’s corner chair and?fireplace screen?
were bought at flea markets in France.

4. Do you have a favorite color scheme? What is it?

I don’t really have a favorite color combination. ?In my own home, I like a white backdrop so I can play with color. ?I do enjoy doing all neutral interiors for others who prefer it though.
Same chairs two ways.




5. Favorite room of your house and why?

Right now, it’s our guest room since I just finished it for the?One Room Challenge. I stenciled the wall myself…a major feat for a non-do-it-yourselfer (but it only costed about $35).


6. Best two tips you can give to anyone looking to tackle the decorating of their own home? ??

  • Hire a decorator (through referrals), even to use just as a sounding board. ?He/she can help keep you on track with your goals and budget. ?If that’s not an option enlist a friend who’s taste you admire.
  • Start files on Pinterest, Houzz and from magazines. ?When you start to see common threads in your images, you will begin to understand your style preferences.

Best two things to NOT do?

  • Don’t get in over your head doing work like electrical or plumbing that is better left for the professionals
  • Don’t be afraid to try things…move your furniture around, mix it up (I might go a little overboard here 🙂

7. What do you think are the most important features for a kitchen?

My husband would say it’s his stove since he loves to cook.
I like the storage in our pantry and that I can use the appliances in there and keep our counters clear.


?8.How do you like to dress up a cocktail table and console in a living room?


With books, trays, plants…
Or coral.



9.Any advice on the subject of lighting?


Dimmers, especially on overhead lighting. ?
Layer with task lighting wherever you might want to read and also for ambiance.

10. Have a favorite paint color? Do tell!

I have this Benjamin Moore White Dove?
on walls throughout my house. ?



11. What are a couple of really simple inexpensive things you can do in your home to make it?feel “homey” and inviting?


Fruit (the lemons are from our tree),?
flowers and candles!



12.?Fill in the blank- If money was no object, the very first thing?I would buy for my home would be…


?a?beautiful, antique Persian rug in muted tones for the living room. ?Ah…someday.

Thanks so much for having me over, Tina!!!

Best wishes,
______________________

Is she good or is she good? Mary Ann……..I never tire of seeing your beautiful and welcoming? home. It is just so warm, elegant and beautifully put together and that guest room must have been done with me in mind so pencil me in for June 🙂 By the way….that taco night I mentioned, well here it is……..don’t know about you but in my casa, taco night does not look like this:)

And check out the bridal? shower she threw…..are you available for my birthday in December?

Love these tomato caprese appetizers that she made……

?Thanks to everyone for stopping in and to Mary Ann for opening up her gorgeous abode for us all to marvel over! Be sure to stop over and say hello to the lovely Mary Ann, click here.

If you want to check out? my guest post over at Amy Vermillion’s blog (and I do hope you will) click here.

Thanks for stopping in…have a wonderful Monday!

Photobucket

Bloggers beautiful abodes…Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home

 Sure hope this posts on time as I scheduled this for Monday morning while I am away. I  am being featured over at Amy Vermillion’s blog today for her “Whats on my nightstand” posts…such a fun idea! Hope you will come visit me there after reading this post. Click here to visit.

Good morning! Time for another  round of “Bloggers beautiful abodes” and have I got a treat for you! So sit back and savor that cup of coffee or tea and enjoy this post full of beauty and wisdom.  Say hello to super talented……..

                                     
Mary Ann is an uber talented  Newport Beach, California based designer (if she wasn’t so sweet it would be easy to hate her for being lucky enough to live that California dream). She is always doing something gorgeous whether in her own beautiful home or adding her touches to  her friends ……and trust me they ALL look right out of the pages of your favorite design magazine! 

She has totally nailed the elegant coastal vibe to perfection and I am a huge fan of her work and her blog. Whether she is redoing a guest room, prepping for the most beautiful taco night I have ever seen or planning a little fete in her home…rest assured its something you want to see and take notes on!  Her blog is one I simply do not miss. Period. I feel like we are friends and know we would be fast friends if we ever meet  If you don’t know of her, be sure you head over to say hello and by all means sign up…..her blog is a total keeper. Enough of me, lets hear from wonderful Mary Ann………

____________________________

Thank you, Tina, for inviting me to tell 
you and your “enchanting readers” 
a bit about our home in 
Newport Beach, California. 
It’s small, as many homes 
are on Lido Isle
(the island below on the right)
but we can walk or ride bikes 
to the beach.  

See the patch of grass on the sand?  
That is the playground for the grammar school where our son attended.
He always came home with sand in his shoes!


1. How long have you been in your present home?  Is this it for the long haul? Anything you would care to change if you could?

It’s a 1950’s cottage that we remodeled and moved into two and a half years ago.
I’m not sure we’ll stay here forever. 
The people inside the home are what’s important to me,
but this would be a comfortable place “for the long haul.”  

If I could change anything, I wish we had more of a foyer…but there just isn’t room.  
I do love our dutch door.

2. If you could only live in two rooms of your house, which two would be the ones?

My bedroom because I like to be lazy and
our patio has been nice to relax in lately.



3. How would you describe your decorating style?

Casual with a little French 
and classic elegance.


Both the child’s corner chair and fireplace screen 
were bought at flea markets in France.

4. Do you have a favorite color scheme? What is it?

I don’t really have a favorite color combination.  In my own home, I like a white backdrop so I can play with color.  I do enjoy doing all neutral interiors for others who prefer it though.
Same chairs two ways.




5. Favorite room of your house and why?

Right now, it’s our guest room since I just finished it for the One Room Challenge. I stenciled the wall myself…a major feat for a non-do-it-yourselfer (but it only costed about $35).


6. Best two tips you can give to anyone looking to tackle the decorating of their own home?   

  • Hire a decorator (through referrals), even to use just as a sounding board.  He/she can help keep you on track with your goals and budget.  If that’s not an option enlist a friend who’s taste you admire.
  • Start files on Pinterest, Houzz and from magazines.  When you start to see common threads in your images, you will begin to understand your style preferences.

Best two things to NOT do?

  • Don’t get in over your head doing work like electrical or plumbing that is better left for the professionals
  • Don’t be afraid to try things…move your furniture around, mix it up (I might go a little overboard here 🙂

7. What do you think are the most important features for a kitchen?

My husband would say it’s his stove since he loves to cook.
I like the storage in our pantry and that I can use the appliances in there and keep our counters clear.


 8.How do you like to dress up a cocktail table and console in a living room?


With books, trays, plants…
Or coral.



9.Any advice on the subject of lighting?


Dimmers, especially on overhead lighting.  
Layer with task lighting wherever you might want to read and also for ambiance.

10. Have a favorite paint color? Do tell!

I have this Benjamin Moore White Dove 
on walls throughout my house.  



11. What are a couple of really simple inexpensive things you can do in your home to make it feel “homey” and inviting?


Fruit (the lemons are from our tree), 
flowers and candles!



12. Fill in the blank- If money was no object, the very first thing I would buy for my home would be…


 beautiful, antique Persian rug in muted tones for the living room.  Ah…someday.

Thanks so much for having me over, Tina!!!

Best wishes,
______________________

Is she good or is she good? Mary Ann……..I never tire of seeing your beautiful and welcoming  home. It is just so warm, elegant and beautifully put together and that guest room must have been done with me in mind so pencil me in for June 🙂 By the way….that taco night I mentioned, well here it is……..don’t know about you but in my casa, taco night does not look like this:)

And check out the bridal  shower she threw…..are you available for my birthday in December?

Love these tomato caprese appetizers that she made……

 Thanks to everyone for stopping in and to Mary Ann for opening up her gorgeous abode for us all to marvel over! Be sure to stop over and say hello to the lovely Mary Ann, click here.

If you want to check out  my guest post over at Amy Vermillion’s blog (and I do hope you will) click here.

Thanks for stopping in…have a wonderful Monday!

Photobucket

Homes away from home…..and my own house update!

First this is totally off topic from anything that this post is about today, but I was so excited to just learn that Dreamworks is producing the movie based on one of my all time favorite novels….The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was soooo fabulous, and I am ecstatic that a movie is in the works, if you enjoy reading..and haven’t read this I highly suggest you do. Now moving on…………



I love to travel. Maybe its this very long winter that has helped me reach my threshold fast as to how much winter I can stand, but I am ready to go on a vacation! I have been fortunate that I have been able to travel to many places both abroad and throughout the U.S. Of course,making this blanket statement does not prelude me from saying I have a list….a very long list at that, of cities, places, hotels, museums, cultural establishments that I long to see. I presume as my kids all eventually fly the nest (not at all wishing that to happen soon however), it will give us more time to pursue our love of travel later on down the road. While the choices worldwide are seemingly endless, we have many treasures right here on our own turf. Some of which I have been lucky enough to visit while a few remain on my wish list.

?What makes up a truly great hotel to me, is first the comfort and luxury of the room, how comfortable I am there. How accessible the facility is for the guests, how welcomed they make you feel and how personal the service is. Of course a hallmark of a truly great hotel, is making you feel at home….and feeling that you could see yourself staying awhile. For this reason I prefer smaller more intimate properties where you are almost guaranteed personal and custom service. ?Today, I pay tribute to these beautiful, majestic properties all in the U.S. worth visiting. Have you been to any of these and if not, does one appeal to you…where would want go if you could pick up and go tomorrow? Or do you have a personal favorite? Do tell!

?And last, a few updated house pictures, just got in the new batch of limestone for phase II install so we are pretty excited about that, and you will see that Inspector Teddy was busy making sure things were done correctly:)

Inspector Teddy on the prowl
In search of what he needs to inspect next….
Beautiful limestone cartouche for back entrance
Teddy snooping around to make sure everything is where it should be!
Unwrapping it to check it out!

I am still in awe of the amazing framing our talented crew did…. a work of art indeed!

The old fountain that was on the property, which we will restore
One of the original birdbaths which has been since wrapped and put away for the winter….
The beautiful limestone work on the breakfast room bay
Our pretty cupola

Limestone water table

The roof is Vermont slate, they did an outstanding job
The palettes of stone await the masonry guys first thing Monday morning

Now onto the homes away from home…….

STEIN ERICSON LODGE IN DEER VALLEY, UTAH

?This majestic grand ski lodge modeled off a European ski lodge is situated in heart of picturesque Deer Valley. The rooms are luxurious in a upscale Nordic feel and the public spaces are as inviting as they are warm with many oversize fireplaces in almost every room. Obviously the key draw here is the epic skiing, but the town of Park City is only minutes away and boast of many world class restaurants, the famed Sundance Film festival and a lively downtown scene with something for everyone. This is a great place for a family getaway or a couples retreat.

The beautiful traditional lodge

Sleigh riding is a must!

All the interiors are down to cozy lodge perfection
Balcony overlooking the grand foyer

?
A typical guest room done in rich woods
Another guest room
BLACKBERRY FARM, TENNESSEE
?Think Currier and Ives meets world class dining all set at the foot of the Great Smoky mountains. Nothing is spared at this amazingly upscale and beautiful resort which has 51 rooms, both situated in the main house as well as several cottages. This is set on almost 4500 acres and is the epitome of fine country living. The cuisine is world class and award winning and is modeled after the farm to table movement so its the best of the best. The rooms are luxuriously outfitted in all the finest linens and furnishings including country antiques and overstuffed feather beds.Everything from gourmet cooking classes, fly fishing, spa treatments to being given a tour in a horse drawn carriage are offered. A famous 60,000 bottle wine cellar completes this idyllic home away from home. I plan on finally going there this summer!
This pretty understated sign welcomes you
One of the rooms..pure luxury

Eating lunch outside by the lake
One of the picture perfect cabins

Beautifully outfitted guest room

The main dining room

Gorgeous setting to dine on incredible food

The dining table in the wine cellar

Picture perfect…..just waiting for some takers

Another sumptious guest room

A picture perfect picnic
THE MAYFLOWER INN AND SPA, CONNECTICUT
One of the dreamiest places I have ever been to. A very good friend and I went for the ultimate girls getaway and we both agreed this was perfection and one of if not the nicest spas we have ever been to. The rooms are decorated with antiques, the finest linens, and I think all have ?woodburning fireplace, no detail was overlooked at The Mayflower. Absolute luxury in the most relaxing atmosphere imaginable. ?The spa is world class and is always very private feeling. The food was spectacular in the formal dining room. This is a dream getaway weekend destination.
The beautiful tended formal gardens with a walking path leads to the spa building and tennis courts
The stunning all white “relaxation room” where you wait until you start your spa treatments, I could stay in this room all day, and practically did!

This was my friends room…all rooms have queens or kings

The Mayflower and all its glory during the winter

This was my favorite spot in the entire place, the relaxation room…it has this plush overstuffed chaise lounges looking out onto the lake…it was dreamy

Another award winning room

Beautiful guest room, most have balconies/decks

Part of the library, open to all guests

Yes, all the rooms are this stunningly beautiful

Exterior of the main building

THE BARDESSONO, NAPA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

We were here last year and it was one of the best getaways my husband and I have had in a long long time. Napa Valley really pulled at my heart strings and appealed to my every sense, I could easily have left it all and moved there, it is THAT amazing. Beyond the wine tastings, which to me can get tiresome day in and day out, the sheer beauty of this laid back region is just breathtaking, then you couple in the fact that it has some of the?best restaurants I have ever eaten in..and you have a winning combination. (Sorry to who this might offend, but after our long anticipated visit to the French Laundry we were very disappointed) however many others there were downright incredible and warrant a return visit. What makes this hotel so interesting is it is a building built of green materials, has its own food production garden so you get farm fresh ingredients in every meal, the building materials are from salvaged trees and they use organic linens in addition to cooling and heating the entire facility with an underground geothermal system! It is quite fascinating and worth reading about…click here.

The exterior of the “green hotel’

Yes, all the bathrooms look like this, very luxurious and huge!
Loved our fireplace
The rooms are THIS beautiful
Outside jacuzzi and outside shower
The chic bar
The elegant dining room
Dining room….you can also dine al fresco by the pool

TWIN FARMS, BARNARD, VERMONT

This gorgeous idyllic country resort nestled in the mountains of Vermont, houses 20 separate buildings/cottages on over 200 acres. No sparing of country elegance and luxury has been missed here, hospitality knows no bounds and the award winning gourmet cuisine will not disappoint even the most seasoned palette.Each cottage is decorated completed differently but all retain that same upscale country chic luxury. Seasonal activities and all meals are included once you reserve a cottage here at Twin Farms..this is the ultimate mountain getaway!

An overview of the property

A living room shot
One of the cabins with a gorgeous stone fireplace
Another charming and cozy cabin
A pretty living?room, they all have fireplaces?
Yet another setting…love the cow print chairs!

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags…..I don’t know about you but I am ready to go! The only difficult part would be deciding which one to go to…..these could easily be a home away from home for me! Have a wonderful day!



Photobucket






Homes away from home…..and my own house update!

First this is totally off topic from anything that this post is about today, but I was so excited to just learn that Dreamworks is producing the movie based on one of my all time favorite novels….The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was soooo fabulous, and I am ecstatic that a movie is in the works, if you enjoy reading..and haven’t read this I highly suggest you do. Now moving on…………

I love to travel. Maybe its this very long winter that has helped me reach my threshold fast as to how much winter I can stand, but I am ready to go on a vacation! I have been fortunate that I have been able to travel to many places both abroad and throughout the U.S. Of course,making this blanket statement does not prelude me from saying I have a list….a very long list at that, of cities, places, hotels, museums, cultural establishments that I long to see. I presume as my kids all eventually fly the nest (not at all wishing that to happen soon however), it will give us more time to pursue our love of travel later on down the road. While the choices worldwide are seemingly endless, we have many treasures right here on our own turf. Some of which I have been lucky enough to visit while a few remain on my wish list.
 What makes up a truly great hotel to me, is first the comfort and luxury of the room, how comfortable I am there. How accessible the facility is for the guests, how welcomed they make you feel and how personal the service is. Of course a hallmark of a truly great hotel, is making you feel at home….and feeling that you could see yourself staying awhile. For this reason I prefer smaller more intimate properties where you are almost guaranteed personal and custom service.  Today, I pay tribute to these beautiful, majestic properties all in the U.S. worth visiting. Have you been to any of these and if not, does one appeal to you…where would want go if you could pick up and go tomorrow? Or do you have a personal favorite? Do tell!
 And last, a few updated house pictures, just got in the new batch of limestone for phase II install so we are pretty excited about that, and you will see that Inspector Teddy was busy making sure things were done correctly:)

Inspector Teddy on the prowl
In search of what he needs to inspect next….
Beautiful limestone cartouche for back entrance
Teddy snooping around to make sure everything is where it should be!
Unwrapping it to check it out!

I am still in awe of the amazing framing our talented crew did…. a work of art indeed!

The old fountain that was on the property, which we will restore
One of the original birdbaths which has been since wrapped and put away for the winter….
The beautiful limestone work on the breakfast room bay
Our pretty cupola

Limestone water table

The roof is Vermont slate, they did an outstanding job
The palettes of stone await the masonry guys first thing Monday morning

Now onto the homes away from home…….

STEIN ERICSON LODGE IN DEER VALLEY, UTAH
 This majestic grand ski lodge modeled off a European ski lodge is situated in heart of picturesque Deer Valley. The rooms are luxurious in a upscale Nordic feel and the public spaces are as inviting as they are warm with many oversize fireplaces in almost every room. Obviously the key draw here is the epic skiing, but the town of Park City is only minutes away and boast of many world class restaurants, the famed Sundance Film festival and a lively downtown scene with something for everyone. This is a great place for a family getaway or a couples retreat.

The beautiful traditional lodge

Sleigh riding is a must!

All the interiors are down to cozy lodge perfection
Balcony overlooking the grand foyer

 
A typical guest room done in rich woods
Another guest room
BLACKBERRY FARM, TENNESSEE
 Think Currier and Ives meets world class dining all set at the foot of the Great Smoky mountains. Nothing is spared at this amazingly upscale and beautiful resort which has 51 rooms, both situated in the main house as well as several cottages. This is set on almost 4500 acres and is the epitome of fine country living. The cuisine is world class and award winning and is modeled after the farm to table movement so its the best of the best. The rooms are luxuriously outfitted in all the finest linens and furnishings including country antiques and overstuffed feather beds.Everything from gourmet cooking classes, fly fishing, spa treatments to being given a tour in a horse drawn carriage are offered. A famous 60,000 bottle wine cellar completes this idyllic home away from home. I plan on finally going there this summer!
This pretty understated sign welcomes you
One of the rooms..pure luxury

Eating lunch outside by the lake
One of the picture perfect cabins

Beautifully outfitted guest room

The main dining room

Gorgeous setting to dine on incredible food

The dining table in the wine cellar

Picture perfect…..just waiting for some takers

Another sumptious guest room

A picture perfect picnic
THE MAYFLOWER INN AND SPA, CONNECTICUT
One of the dreamiest places I have ever been to. A very good friend and I went for the ultimate girls getaway and we both agreed this was perfection and one of if not the nicest spas we have ever been to. The rooms are decorated with antiques, the finest linens, and I think all have  woodburning fireplace, no detail was overlooked at The Mayflower. Absolute luxury in the most relaxing atmosphere imaginable.  The spa is world class and is always very private feeling. The food was spectacular in the formal dining room. This is a dream getaway weekend destination.
The beautiful tended formal gardens with a walking path leads to the spa building and tennis courts
The stunning all white “relaxation room” where you wait until you start your spa treatments, I could stay in this room all day, and practically did!

This was my friends room…all rooms have queens or kings

The Mayflower and all its glory during the winter

This was my favorite spot in the entire place, the relaxation room…it has this plush overstuffed chaise lounges looking out onto the lake…it was dreamy

Another award winning room

Beautiful guest room, most have balconies/decks

Part of the library, open to all guests

Yes, all the rooms are this stunningly beautiful

Exterior of the main building

THE BARDESSONO, NAPA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

We were here last year and it was one of the best getaways my husband and I have had in a long long time. Napa Valley really pulled at my heart strings and appealed to my every sense, I could easily have left it all and moved there, it is THAT amazing. Beyond the wine tastings, which to me can get tiresome day in and day out, the sheer beauty of this laid back region is just breathtaking, then you couple in the fact that it has some of the best restaurants I have ever eaten in..and you have a winning combination. (Sorry to who this might offend, but after our long anticipated visit to the French Laundry we were very disappointed) however many others there were downright incredible and warrant a return visit. What makes this hotel so interesting is it is a building built of green materials, has its own food production garden so you get farm fresh ingredients in every meal, the building materials are from salvaged trees and they use organic linens in addition to cooling and heating the entire facility with an underground geothermal system! It is quite fascinating and worth reading about…click here.

The exterior of the “green hotel’

Yes, all the bathrooms look like this, very luxurious and huge!
Loved our fireplace
The rooms are THIS beautiful
Outside jacuzzi and outside shower
The chic bar
The elegant dining room
Dining room….you can also dine al fresco by the pool

TWIN FARMS, BARNARD, VERMONT
This gorgeous idyllic country resort nestled in the mountains of Vermont, houses 20 separate buildings/cottages on over 200 acres. No sparing of country elegance and luxury has been missed here, hospitality knows no bounds and the award winning gourmet cuisine will not disappoint even the most seasoned palette.Each cottage is decorated completed differently but all retain that same upscale country chic luxury. Seasonal activities and all meals are included once you reserve a cottage here at Twin Farms..this is the ultimate mountain getaway!

An overview of the property

A living room shot
One of the cabins with a gorgeous stone fireplace
Another charming and cozy cabin
A pretty living room, they all have fireplaces 
Yet another setting…love the cow print chairs!

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags…..I don’t know about you but I am ready to go! The only difficult part would be deciding which one to go to…..these could easily be a home away from home for me! Have a wonderful day!


Photobucket