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Ranch Houzz Perfection

I love a variety of different design styles that it often poses a challenge when trying to narrow down a look for our own seaside ranch house.  Ranch homes are generally humble in nature and it’s been challenging to find images of a ranch home done right. If you’ve seen any, please let me know. My search led me to images of this Los Angeles, California ranch home on Houzz a few months back and later to the designer’s website. At 4,000 square feet, you can hardly call it humble in terms of square footage but you could definitely call it homey and quaint in terms of its overall aesthetic. It’s not overly decorated and looks collected over time. These are qualities I wish to capture in our own home. It’s a place I’d feel most comfortable coming home to every night. I’ve visited and revisited these pictures on many occasions studying each detail hoping to capture the same essence in our own home. Before I start vacillating back and forth on style, I should probably contact Mark J. Williams, the designer for this project, to help me jump start things a bit on our own home. I’m never too proud to call in reinforcement when needed.

Read more about this home on Houzz.

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Marine Lair

I love stalking real estate listings for places that I travel to and since we are in La Jolla, California I thought I’d share “Marine Lair” with you today. The 3,124 square foot home with 3 bedrooms and 4.5 baths is situated on a tiny 2,560 square foot lot located directly across the street from the beach. The home was built by Andrew Canter, the 34-year-old owner of Canter Companies and real estate investment banker, who spared no expense in designing and building a contemporary beach home (and bachelor pad…he’s single) in one of Southern California’s premier oceanfront communities.

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Andrew Canter at Marine Lair

Canter put his development team to the test by informing them that his vision and “…concept was to create something rare and extraordinary in every aspect of the design.” The home is very sculptural in nature and incorporates carefully curated rugged and exotic materials, such as koa wood veneer harvested from Hilo, Hawaii. This isn’t surprising coming from an owner working with a craftsman who spent a lot of time building boats. It feels like a little jewel box on the beach and it can be all yours for $11.8 million. If you don’t have access to that much cash don’t worry…the seller is accepting bitcoin.

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Off to San Francisco

Mr. B and I are off to San Francisco for the next few days to celebrate his birthday. This weekend is all about Mr. B and doing the things he wants to do so tonight we’ll be having dinner at Cafe Claude. It’s a small French bistro tucked away off an alley-like street known as “Claude Lane”. We’ve been to the restaurant only once before but remember enjoying it. It was basic but good. I’ve been a bit MIA on IG but I promise to post if you wish to follow along to see what we stumble upon and what else we have planned. In the meantime, enjoy this poem about San Francisco by George Sterling.

The winds of the Future wait
At the iron walls of her Gate,
And the western ocean breaks in thunder,
And the western stars go slowly under,
And her gaze is ever West
In the dream of her young unrest.
Her sea is a voice that calls,
And her star a voice above,
And her wind a voice on her walls —
My cool, grey city of love.        — George Sterling

reviving charm goes to san francisco

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NEWPORT BEACH: LIDO MARINA VILLAGE

Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach, CA (the land of wealth and beautiful people) had their grand opening in Fall 2016. It’s a hop, skip, and a jump from our seaside ranch home but it wasn’t until this week that Mr. B and I finally paid a visit to one of Newport’s newest coastal shopping destinations. We had great weather with beautiful blue skies on the day we visited. It turned out to be a perfect day to stroll the area and explore the stylish mix of sophisticated shops set in a charming environment positioned right on Newport Bay. The overall design of the village is unique for California because it feels like something you’d find on the East Coast as opposed to Orange County. We all know how fond I am of the East Coast so perhaps that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed my visit so much. Lido Marina Village is home to some great shops such as Warby Parker, Serena & Lily, Le Labo, Alchemy Works, Clare V., Sugar Paper, and more. For more information and a complete list of shops and eateries, be sure to check out their website. If you plan to be in the area, be sure to check out Lido Marina Village for yourself. I know I’ll be back since I’m looking forward to the opening of Malibu Farm restaurant later this year.

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TRAVEL: CHECKING INTO THE PENDRY

The Pendry Hotel, situated on a prime corner in the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego, opened its doors early this year with lots of fanfare as a new venture for the Montage Resorts & Hotels brand. The Pendry San Diego is only one of two, and was the first, in the Pendry chain (the other is in Baltimore). Mr. B and I visited the San Diego location over the Fourth of July weekend where we were invited to tour the rooftop pool and enjoyed delicious appetizers at the bar. Impressed with its sophisticated style, Mr. B and I vowed that next time we were in San Diego we’d book a room at The Pendry. The hotel combines modern day luxury and California style, as seen from my pictures captured in July and earlier today.

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If you need me, I’ll be at The Pendry over the next few days. But don’t be surprised if the “do not disturb sign” is on display. This holiday weekend is meant to be stress-free and the goal is to refresh, relax, and rejuvenate. I hope you get a chance to do the same!

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CHRISTMAS IN NAPLES, LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA

Many people outside of the Southern California region aren’t familiar with the neighborhood in Long Beach, California known as “Naples”.  In 1903, a man by the name of Arthur Parson had the vision to build an island like community with a series of canals, streets named after Italian cities, and a series of high arching bridges that now allow gondoliers to propel their gondolas down the water ways (more on that later). The project was completed in the 1920s and the neighborhood has flourished into one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the city. Homes on the canal will set you back several million, even for a major fixer upper or complete teardown. 

Since 1946, the “Naples Island Boat Parade” takes place with groups of decorated boats cruising through the canals. In an effort to avoid the crowds, Mr. B and I avoid parade night and, alternatively, visit Naples during the weeks to follow. The crowds are still there but they are much more manageable. Many of the decorated boats continue to cruise the canals leading up to Christmas so we never feel like we lose out on the experience. We strolled through the neighborhood a few nights ago and I’d share a bit of Naples festivity with you today. If you follow me on Instagram then you may recognize a couple of these pictures.

If you find yourself in Long Beach, California and want to have your own experience on the canals of Naples, be sure to check out Gondola Getaway. In 1998 Mr. B and I received a gift certificate for a ride as a wedding gift and we had a lot of fun experiencing this unique neighborhood from the water. Whether by foot or by gondola, Naples is a great place to experience any time of the year. Caio for now…

Rebuilding.

On the way home from the airport after landing in Los Angeles, our driver said to us at the end of a particular conversation, “Don’t worry, the reality and stress will soon set in”. Although said jokingly, he wasn’t far off base. It’s hard coming home to see news coverage about the devastating wildfires occurring in my state. There are fires burning in both Northern and Southern California with deadly, devastating results. “California is on fire”, is some something I made mention of yesterday to a colleague. While we are not in the path of any of the current fires, I came home to find layers of ash covering our property spread by the heavy Santa Ana winds. I had also being alerted by our city to stay indoors due to poor air quality. Having a home destroyed in a matter of minutes is a frightening thought but is the reality for so many living it in the moment. There are many who will deal with the aftermath of the destruction. Some will be rebuilding lives after the loss of life of friends and family; others will deal with construction efforts of rebuilding physical structures. This all reminded me of a post I did last year about a Santa Barbara home that was rebuilt after a fire. The owner took some extra precautions to design a new home with safety in mind. The results are lovely and in case you missed that post, you can check it out HERE.

When we rebuild a house, we are rebuilding a home. When we recover from disaster, we are rebuilding lives and livelihoods. –Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Economist

If you want to help with disaster relief aid, contact Red Cross.

Shop Highlight: Studio Veneto Provides Luxury Italian Decor

Every now and then you stumble across a shop that is truly a unique find. Studio Veneto located in The Village neighborhood of La Jolla, California is one such gem. I came across Studio Veneto several years ago but it wasn’t until last summer that I had a wonderful chat with the owner, Linda McCormick, who allowed me to take pictures of the shop (Thank you, Linda!). I paid a visit to the shop again last weekend and took a few new pictures.
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The exterior of the shop has an elegant quality to it with an old world Italian feel. When you walk up to the space you immediately realize that this shop is truly something special.  studio veneto fortuny reviving charm

Studio Veneto is no ordinary antique shop. It is well known for specializing in Italian antiques and textiles sourced directly from Italy. However, you don’t need to be decorating an Italian villa to shop here. Studio Veneto is a great shop visit even if you just need to find a one-of-a-kind item that will make a statement in a room. The shop is not large but there is an abundance of inventory to choose from.

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As you walk into the shop you are immediately greeted with a treasure trove of items. The photo above was from my trip last year, with the photo below from last weekend. The shop is hard to photograph as it is fairly dark with lots of tight spaces and is packed with treasures tucked away in every corner. studio veneto la jolla Reviving Charm 1

Linda is a woman after my own heart. She has quite the affinity for textiles, particularly being a longtime fan of the prestigious Italian textile maker Fortuny. She sources her textiles directly from Italy and uses them to create pillows, tissue box covers, lampshades and her signature nightlights (shown below). While $175 may sound steep for a nightlight, remember that each shade is made by hand using antique Fortuny fabric. No two are identical. These would look stunning in a powder room although I have contemplated about putting one in the living room.

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Custom lampshades in a variety of shapes and sizes are a particular specialty of Studio Veneto. Tucked away in a small area at the back of the shop you can see a plethora of small shades ready to purchase off the shelf. However, if you are interested in having a custom lampshade crafted for you, there are a number of finials and other lamp parts to choose from (shown below along the right-hand side of the picture). No detail is overlooked. studio veneto fortuny reviving charm

Don’t forget to look up! Above the owner’s desk toward the back of the shop, you can see the wire lamp frames just waiting to be turned into a beautifully handcrafted lamp. The wire frames are custom made specifically for Studio Veneto. studio veneto fortuny reviving charm studio veneto fortuny reviving charm

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If you are looking to incorporate a bit of Italy into your decor, be sure to pay a visit to Studio Veneto or check out the website.studio veneto la jolla Reviving Charm 5

 

Fourth of July: America’s Holiday

Happy Fourth of July! 

What do you have planned this long holiday weekend? I have been on vacation mode. Mr. B and have been taking a few days off for an easy getaway to La Jolla and San Diego, which is about a two-hour drive from our home. This Fourth of July, aka America’s Holiday, I thought I’d share a handful of my favorite vacation pictures from years past featuring Old Glory. Whatever it is you have planned, be sure to have a happy and safe one!

One flag, one land, one heart, on nation evermore.    — Oliver Wendell Holmes

Carmel, California

In 2015, we spend the holiday in the charming community of Carmel, California. I previously crafted a unique post about the lovely homes of Carmel. This was actually one of my earliest posts on the website so in case you missed it, you can read it here. 

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Above & Below: Carmel, California

In Fall 2015, we spend two weeks back east visiting Massachusetts and Rhode Island. I posted about the Boston Public Library, the Cape Cod hotel we stayed at in this post, and visiting Edith Wharton’s beautiful home, The Mount, in this post. The next couple of pictures are a couple of my favorites from that trip. scuituate lighthoue american flag via Reviving Charm

In an attempt to do something different, last year we spent the holiday in Julian, California. Julian is a small town (population approx. 1,500) tucked away in the mountains of San Diego. If you follow me on Instagram you may remember that I shared this picture last year. I’m not sure what it is about Julian that lures me back. There is absolutely no good shopping in this little town and there is only one real decent place to stay. Their Main Street is a missed opportunity because it is filled with one trinket souvenir shop after another. I did, however, manage to find one great home decor shop in town and some vintage shops in the region. Naturally, I discovered a few things to bring home and I shared my finds with you in this post. Heaven knows why, but for some weird, crazy reason I really like Julian. Maybe it’s their infamous apple pie that draws me back? julian california flag image by Reviving Charm

MY HEART IS IN SAN FRANCISCO 

If you follow me on Instagram then you were the first to know that Mr. B and I have been vacationing in San Francisco for the last few days. While I’m away from my computer, enjoy a view of one of the most famous bridges in the world. The iconic Golden Gate Bridge first opened in May 1937 and will turn 80 this year. I only hope I can look as fabulous when I turn 80!

The Golden Gate Bridge’s daily strip tease from enveloping stoles of mist to full frontal glory is still the most provocative show in town.   –Mary Moore Mason, Editor of British magazine Essentially America