Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Clean and Inviting Island Home

After months of silence, I am back on the blog.  Lots had happened in the past few months. My oldest son graduated from high school. We spent two months traveling in the summer (possibly topics for future posts). We also have been quite busy with a little project in the past six months: we bought a house and renovated it from head to toe.  

The property is located in beautiful Kailua, my home town, and when we bought it together with my friend Debbie and her husband Brian, it was in less then perfect shape.  In fact, I called it "the icky house".  It was in dire need of help.  After six months of renovations, the house is all done, and looks perfect, inside and out.  

The inspiration for the house was a clean and neutral beach look, with driftwood colored floors, grey tiles and creamy white walls (Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee).

In the center of the home is the brand new kitchen. Its layout was completely rearranged, walls got knocked down and we created a large island.

We chose a light color palette for the kitchen and baths, with custom grey cabinets (Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter) with white speckled quartz countertops. Stainless steel appliances finish the look.

  To the left of the refrigerator and pull out pantry shelves is a desk area created with the same quartz as the kitchen countertops.

To the right of  the entrance from the garage, there is a small mudroom and a laundry room, and to the left is the kitchen.  The main entry to the home is on the right side of the photo above.

Delta Cassidy faucets and accessories were used in the kitchen and the baths. 

White subway tile, custom grey cabinets, quartz countertops and Delta faucets in both bathrooms. The house had 1.5 baths originally, we upgraded it to two full baths.

Grey slate in the entryway.

The complete renovation of the property included full landscaping. We added tropical  plants, including banana trees, regraded the back yard and installed a lawn.  I am happy to say we managed to stay in budget and finished only a few days after the projected finish date.  Overall, it was a great experience.  

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Beautiful Vancouver Home

After what seems like ages, I am back with a post on my friend Annekatrin's house.  If you are a faithful reader of this blog (hi mom!), you may remember that my youngest son and I visited Vancouver, BC in October to check out fall leaves and spend some quality time with our friends who live there.  They have recently renovated their home and below are some pictures of the results.  They worked with an architect and an interior designer, and the final product is stylish and welcoming.  But let the photos, taken by the design firm, speak for themselves. Lovely, isn't it?

A mosaic tile focal point in the French country kitchen

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Foodie Tour of Upcountry Maui

On Valentine's Day weekend, which coincided with President's Day weekend and thus was one of those wonderful three-day affairs, we flew over to Maui for some quality relaxation. For those of you not from Hawaii, Maui is about a 30 minute airplane ride from Honolulu. And that includes taxiing. Flight takes off, you get a tropical juice drink, you have five minutes to drink it, flight lands. Just my kind of travel.

View from our room at the Grand Wailea

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Crystal Beauty

I have a confession to make: I am obsessed with giant crystal chandeliers. No, I don't own any. I also don't own a mansion or palace. Which is exactly where these beauties belong. Or in a theater - and that is where I found the specimen below. It hangs in the Baroque Theatre in the royal palace in Gödöllő, Hungary. The theater was recently restored (one of only two existing baroque theaters in the world) during the latest phase of the palace reconstruction.

Isn't this chandelier gorgeous? 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Charming Castle Hotel in Central Wales: Craig-Y-Nos Castle

Last summer on our tour of United Kingdom and Ireland we stopped at this lovely castle hotel, situated in central Wales, in the Upper Swansea Valley in Powys. Craig-Y-Nos ("Rock of the Night")  was built between 1840 and 1843 in neo-gothic style