MICHELANGELO SLEPT HERE

There is something to be said about provenance and it doesn’t get much more interesting than being able to say, “My house was once owned by Michelangelo”. Yes, that Michelangelo. You know…the one that painted the Sistine Chapel. The property once owned by Michelangelo is currently available for $8.4 million and a lucky new owner will soon be able to call it their own.

villa michelangelo via RevivingCharm_com 6

The property is situated among the rolling hills of Tuscany surrounded by 200 olive trees. Michelangelo purchased the property in 1549 and it remained in the family until 1867. Over the course of twenty years, the current owner has lovingly restored the ten bedroom, 12,916 square foot estate while maintaining many of the original architectural features. Included in the sale is the original deed to the house, signed by the artist himself. That sounds like something definitely frame-worthy.

villa michelangelo via RevivingCharm_com

My soul can find no staircase to heaven unless it be through earth’s loveliness.  –Michelangelo Buonarroti

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The brick barrel vaulted ceiling is original.

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The kitchen has its original stone hearth.

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A second floor bedroom maintains its original wood beam ceiling.

There is an interesting article about the property in the New York Times. You can read about it here. 

SPUR OF THE MOMENT

I have had a very busy, stressful last couple of weeks. Plus I have an overwhelming urge to head out-of-town but really can’t fit in a true vacation at the moment. This past Thursday night I told Mr. B “We should go somewhere this weekend.” And the next morning as I left to work Mr. B and I agreed that we would head out-of-town later that evening. It was up to Mr. B to make plans and with a couple of quick texts back and forth between us our vacation was set. We decided to drive north to San Luis Obispo, a charming college town commonly referred to as “SLO”, located in California’s central valley.

When I got home Friday evening my suitcase was all laid out (Thanks, Mr. B) and I literally threw clothes into it. Seriously, I ripped things off hangers, grabbed my toiletry bag (it’s always packed and ready to go) and threw things into my suitcase. Nothing was folded. Nothing was organized. It took me about all of 5 minutes to pack. I then wolfed down a slice of pizza as we were walking out the door that evening. Off we went. Our spontaneous adventure awaited us.

inspirational quotes by RevivingCharm_com

Our trip was short. We pulled into our hotel at approximately 11 pm on Friday night and left Sunday morning. One full day in SLO was great. Sometimes a change of scenery is all that’s needed to recharge the batteries. And speaking of scenery, here are a few things we spotted during our time away.

san luis obispo by RevivingCharm_com

  1. We stayed at the San Luis Creek Lodge. The hotel is situated in close proximity to the city’s historic downtown shopping area so it is a very convenient location. Our room was a decent size, clean, comfortable and reasonably priced. We had a late check in while all office staff were already gone for the evening (they leave at 10 pm) but they made it very easy and convenient for us to gather the keys to our room. A complimentary continental breakfast is served each morning but my advice is to skip their breakfast. The breakfast room is quite cramped and food not all that good. As an alternative, visit one of the town’s many restaurants as there is no lack of dining options.
  2. Beautiful piles of bread at our favorite Italian restaurant in SLO, Palazzo Giuseppe.
  3. Shopping in one of the home decor shops in SLO’s Downtown Historic District.
  4. Signage clearly identifies the historic center of the city.

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  1. Vignette in one of the clothing consignment shops.
  2. A decorative way to mark the entrance to a dressing room in the clothing consignment shop.
  3. This is one of my favorite buildings in the downtown. It has such a welcoming courtyard that leads to the entrance of a fine jewelry shop.
  4. I took this picture because this is such an easy hack. Invert a decorative wall bracket to use as a creative way to store and display bracelets. I actually saw an identical bracket at Homegoods (minus the “chipping” which gives it a vintage quality).

san luis obispo by RevivingCharm_com 3

  1. Along the wall in a courtyard of shops is this mural that is conveniently located across the way from an art gallery. You can’t tell from the picture but the mural measures about ten feet tall.
  2. A rare sighting of a vintage Ferrari parked in the lot of our hotel.
  3. Vintage books line a shelf at Phoenix Books.
  4. Beautiful fuchsia in the Downtown.
  5. I love the look of this red and white striped umbrella in a public seating area.

phoenix books san luis obispo SLO via RevivingCharm_com

A trip to SLO is not complete without a visit to Phoenix Books. I can’t go on vacation without bringing back a souvenir and luckily I found a few books to add to the collection. Check ’em out…decorating books via RevivingCharm_comnew england decorating book via RevivingCharm_comcooking books via RevivinCharm_com

So there you have it. A quick recap of our spontaneous weekend in pictures.

If you haven’t done anything spontaneous lately, I highly recommend it!

xoxo, V.

REVIVING CHARM NEEDS HELP CLEARING OUT HER CLOSET

I was cleaning out my closet this past weekend and realized that I must get rid of a few things, primarily accessories such as handbags and wallets, etc. All are designer brands and some items are even unused and still in their original box.  My dilemma is trying to figure out what to do with these items I no longer need. There are a few apps and websites specifically devoted to designer resale but I have no experience using them.reviving charm needs help clearing out her closetI am interested in hearing from you so please leave a comment or send me an email. Let me know about your experiences…I want to hear them all..the good, the bad and the ugly. Especially, the ugly!

The pictures in this post are items inside my walk-in closet. They were shot with my iPhone and converted into watercolors using the Waterlogue app. I downloaded the app quite a while ago and sort of just forgot about it until recently. When I was trying to figure out a fun way to illustrate this post I thought a few  “watercolor” views might just do the trick. I hope you enjoy them. Now let me take you on a quick tour…Reviving Charm closet

The clothes in my closet are arranged by category and type. Within each category things are then arranged by color. Then, within each color things are arranged by sleeve length (short vs. long sleeve). Yes, I know…a bit OCD. 

In the picture above, the top section is an area devoted to tops and blouses. The bottom section is where I store my “power suits”. Hat boxes are stored on the top shelf, including my favorite wide brim “feather” hat that was custom made by the beloved San Francisco milliner Ruth Garland-Dewson that I purchased for a formal Christmas party.  I also still have the very first wide brim hat that I purchased in Paris at the age of 21. I remember how challenging it was to carry that hatbox on an airplane and through customs. Good memories!

Reviving Charm closet furniture

In the middle of the closet I have a traditional style area rug in various shades of grey and ivory. The antique bench once belonged to my mother. I opted to have it reupholstered with custom tufting in a light grey silk from The Silk Trading Company. You don’t hear much about them anymore. Too bad…they have beautiful silks.

Reviving Charm closet Jimmy Choo

My patent leather Jimmy Choo heels are one of my favorite pairs. I don’t wear them often but when I do I feel like a million bucks. They are the perfect shoe to make a girl feel sexy. I purchased these on a trip to San Francisco a few years ago…what a perfect souvenir! Reviving Charm closet vintage handbag

I love vintage handbags. This bag shown above once belonged to my late mother-in-law. It is meticulously embroidered and beaded. It’s a great little bag to carry with a little black dress because it provides a subtle hint of color to a rather monochromatic look. It’s just barely large enough to keep the bare necessities in.
Reviving Charm closet louis vuitton handbag and purses

I have a lot of handbags. Most are lined on shelves in their original dust bag. Others that are used more frequently get thrown on wall hooks for easy reach. It’s not the best way to care for them but it makes it convenient. After all, why have things if you aren’t using them. This brings me back to my original point…I need to clear out my closet of a few things (although nothing shown here). I might as well find a few items a new home. Preferably to someone who will use them and enjoy them!

A SIMPLE WAY TO ADD AMBIENCE TO YOUR HOME

Many people, myself included, spend countless hours selecting just the right paint colors, fabric and furniture for their home. But have you stopped to consider what your home might actually smell like? I have seen home sprays, perfumes and diffusers but really never thought about them until Mr. B and I were guests at J.K. Place Malibu a few months ago. The event was wonderful with no detail overlooked. I was first mesmerized by the stunning architecture and interiors, as well as the multi-million dollar view of the Pacific Ocean. But as I moved throughout the estate I realized that there was a beautiful scent wafting through the air. It was captivating. It turned out that the house was accessorized with the home fragrances of Dr. Vranjes, a chemist and artisan perfumer based in Florence, Italy.

JK Place Malibu by RevivingCharm_Com

Dr. Vranjes was actually a guest at the event and had a small display set up for people to discover and try his various home fragrances (photos above & below). You can see two large home fragrance reed diffusers sitting on the owner’s desk, aka temporary display for Dr. Vranjes’ products.

JK Place Malibu by Reviving Charm_Com

dr vranjes by RevivngCharm_com

Here are a few of the home fragrances I tested at the JK Place event. Aria was a perfect pick.

I mentioned to Dr. Vranges that I “just had to have” the particular fragrance that was wafting throughout the home. Much to my dismay, I was informed that the fragrance “Firenze” was made specifically for JK Place and only available in Italy. Major bummer. Since we didn’t have a trip to Italy planned for the near future my “Plan B” was to work with Dr. Vranjes and his staff to find an alternative that I could readily purchase in the States. I was thrilled when I was told that his home fragrances could be purchased through Gumps in San Francisco because Mr. B and I were actually flying there the following day.

Gumps San Francisco Dr Vranjes by RevivingCharm_Com

Gumps is always on the list of places to visit when in San Francisco. On this trip I made a bee-line to the home fragrance section. They have a wide display of home fragrances to choose from but my mission was to purchase a bottle of Plan B, officially known as “Aria” by Dr. Vranjes. Since I had never used a reed diffuser before I wanted to purchase the smallest bottle they had, which is 3.4 ounces. The beautiful fragrance was purchased for our living room.

Dr Vranjes by RevivingCharm_Com

When we got home from San Francisco I  read through the marketing material provided by Dr. Vranjes. I love how his reed diffusers are styled in the oh so chic and stylish JK Place Hotel in Florence (shown below). I already know that on our next trip to Florence that I will be paying Dr. Vranjes a visit to purchase a souvenir. A stay at JK Place Firenze is also at the top of the list. Dr Vranges home fragrance via Reviving CharmDr Vranges home fragrance via Reviving Charm_COM 1Dr Vranges home fragrance JK place florence via REVIVINGCHARM_COM 1Dr Vranges home fragrance via Reviving Charm_COMDr Vranges home fragrance JK place florence via REVIVINGCHARM_COM

flourish via REVIVINGCHARM_COM

Since attending the JK Place event, I will never look at home fragrance the same and love the beauty and ease of a reed fragrance diffuser. Most recently I had been looking for one to place in my bathroom and mentioned in a previous post that I purchased Voluspa’s “Laguna” scent. It has a light, sophisticated beach fragrance that works well for a bathroom and I love the scent each time I walk into the room. Confession: sometimes I walk into the room for no reason other than to take a whiff of the lovely scent! Don’t laugh, we all do silly things…home fragrance via RevivingCharm_com 1

flourish via REVIVINGCHARM_COM

An added bonus of using a reed diffuser is its ease of use. Just insert the reeds into the fragrance oil, set it out on display and forget about it. As desired, flip the reeds over to refresh the scent. Easy-peasy.

Some people don’t like using home fragrance and in their skepticism wonder “what odors are you trying to cover up?”Scent has more of a profound influence on us than we think. I believe that home fragrance can be a wonderful way to enhance the overall ambience and add to the warmth and experience of your home. Personally, I don’t like using room sprays or perfumes but a reed diffuser looks and acts like a home accessory while providing a wonderful fragrance. Who doesn’t like walking into a space that not only looks nice but smells wonderful also?

Additional decorating tip: If you don’t like the container of a particular home diffuser, pour the oil into the non-porous container of your choice. Personally, I like the look of glass so you can actually see the oil. Just make sure to select a vessel that has a narrow opening so the reeds can remain upright and not flop around. That’s my tip of day…

All photos via Reviving Charm/iphone 6 except JK Place interior shots.