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Little Bit Of History

Thought I'd take some time today to talk about something other than design.  So many blogs are filled with pretty things and images and you never really get to know the person behind the blog.  I've been meaning to write this post since last fall, but for some reason or another, never got around to it.  This will give a little glimpse into my past and give you a sense of where I get my drive and determination, along with my love for cooking.  I have a lot of examples throught my life that were sure indicaitons of where I am now in life, but we will start here.

When my mom passed away almost 4 years ago, my sister and I were cleaning out the house and garage prior to its sale.  We came across this small wooden chest and couldn't quite place where it was from.  It looked familiar to us, but couldn't remember its proper origin or how it ended up in our mother's garage. Shortly after I brought it home, my uncle was at my home for a holiday and couldn't believe I had this chest in my possession.  The chest belonged to my grandfather, my mom and uncle's dad.  It was the chest that contained his only belongings when he immigrated from Switzerland in 1923 at the age of 17.  

Can you imagine placing all of your belongings in a small chest, leave your parents and country behind at the age of 17 and get on a ship to a whole new world? My nephew is now 17 and it really puts things into perspective when I look at it this way.  You can still see some remnants of the paperwork that was attached for his voyage. I have a copy of his 'Declaration of Passage', but am not sharing it due to privacy reasons.

He had less than $100 to his name when he arrived and years later went on to become a very successful restaurateur, with multiple locations in the area, which he started back in the 1950's.  Sadly, he passed away in the 1980's when I was in high school, but can recall so many great years together prior.  He was a hard working man who was smart, had incredible drive to succeed and treated his employees with respect.  Here he is at the grill of one of his many drive-in restaurants, always in a crisp white shirt and tie and his restaurants were always immaculately clean.

You never see restaurants this clean these days!  That OCD has definitely rubbed off on me in certain areas. :)

I keep his picture on one of my boards in my office, right next to one of my mom.  Love the constant reminder that they are with me at all times.  The quote is so appropriate, too!

Throughout his lifetime, he never forgot where he was from.  He ran his successful farm prior to the restaurants and remained highly active in a local Swiss club.  He was even published in a magazine!  Photo below is from that magazine feature, seems to run in the family. :)

I have learned that with hard work, drive and determination, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.  I knew from a very early age that I would have my own business one day, it just took me later in life to finally get to that point and take a huge risk and leap of faith to do so.  It doesn't matter what your age is, economic background or other obstacles in your way, you can do what ever it is you dream.  I know that my mom, grandfather and grandmother are all looking down on me from heaven cheering me on!  They were after all, my biggest cheerleaders!



Neutral Territory

I know my posts have been sparce as of late, but I've been busy with client work and they, of course, are my priority.  On top of that, I recently brought on an assistant and I couldn't be happier!  She is a wonderful addition and I am so grateful for the help.  

As you know, I'm always inspired by neutrals, so today is just a quick post of some things that have caught my eye.  I'm really inspired by this tile not only for it's inviting palette, but also for it's subtlety.

This charming narrow room functions nicely as a small study.  The built-in window seat appears to provide some much needed storage.  See, you can live well in small spaces.

 The tiles in this shower are lovely.  Kind of takes the blood pressure down a notch, don't you think?




I'm working with a few clients who have steel doors in their homes.  I am so drawn to them and if they were appropriate for my house, I'd want to add them.  You definitely need a home that is somewhat private, so you don't feel like you're living in a fish bowl.  This image stopped my in my tracks and I had to share.  Aren't they incredible!?



Unlaquered Brass

It's no lie... I am in love with unlaqured brass.  I'm sure you have seen it popping up all over Pinterest and in your favorite shelter magazines.  If you not a fan, I'm about to make you a believer.  Not only does it ooze charm and sophistication, it is downright handsome in just about any space.  I do believe when you mix metals, it creates a nice warmth to your home and gives it a 'created over time' feel.  There's nothing worse than 'matchy-matchy', so think outside the box and be open to adding some new elements.

First up is Brooke's gorgeous new home in Ojai.  If you haven't seen it, well you're in for a real treat!  She just posted this photo of the master bath and my jaw dropped.  Heavenly, a complete understatement!  

{giannetti home}

Dying over her new Lacanche range with brass that just got installed!  Seriously, Brooke, I'm coming to visit and will sleep next to your range or in your tub if I have to

  {giannetti home}

Moving on... here are more great inspiration images of unlaquered brass to drool over.

Even the smallest touch, like these bathroom faucets, make a huge impact.

{indigo & orchre}

Seriously, in love with these bath details...

{disc interiors}

Door hardware is another great place to add it...

{design inspiration}

And, you know how much I adore brass lighting.  I have this light in my office and also love it in Holly's back entry as shown here.

{things that inspire} 

So, what are your thoughts on unlaquered brass?


In The Garden

The weather here is finally about to change.  After a dusting of snow on the first day of spring, how dare you mother nature, a bit sunshine and warmer temps are in the forecast for the weekend.  As I walk around my garden, things are starting to come to life and I'm really looking forward to everything in bloom. Since my lawn got thatched and re-seeded last weekend and is not in a pretty state right now, I will spare you from the not so glamorous photos of it.  It just has me thinking about what needs to be added, moved, etc. Ah, spring... so glad you are finally here!

{howard design studio}