Several weeks ago Miss Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home and Cindy Hattersley of Rough Luxe Design got together and sponsored a gallery wall challenge with several bloggers.
(The Old Gallery Wall)
Well, I had tried my hand at a gallery wall several years ago...
And while I gave it my best shot I knew I could do better!
So after being inspired by their challenge I decided to take another stab at a gallery wall installation.
Actually, truth be told, I had taken down the existing gallery wall and had the wall patched and painted in anticipation of putting up this Antique Herbarium that I purchased more than a year ago on Ebay.
It consists of 25 individual plants so it took me a while to figure out how to frame and hang them.
In the end I decided on the simple and inexpensive black Ribba frames from IKEA.
They have been framed and sitting in a large stack in my office for close to a year!
I'd been lying in wait all that time for the right moment to ask my sweet husband to help me figure out the best way to arrange and hang them as I figured it would be something of a weekend long nightmare.
We knew we wanted 5 rows of 5 and laid them out like that on our living room floor. At that point it was easy to see that we needed to space them very close to each other creating one big frame so to speak.
With laser level in hand, we made our way into the hallway where we centered, measured and taped off a great big square.
This large blank wall has challenged us for, wait for it... 30 years!
It can be seen as you walk up the long walkway to the front door as well as from the mancave whose window is directly across from it, making it a prominent feature wall.
Because the IKEA frames were so lightweight we used velcro hanging strips which made the job a piece of cake!
My hubby would actually hang a few at a time during the commercial breaks of the football game he was watching!
By now many of you have probably seen and heard about the Fabulous French Basketeer's Autumn Soiree which my hubby and I were thrilled to be invited!
We jumped in our car early Friday morning and made our way down to Laguna Beach.
We made excellent time and arrived mid-afternoon.
Meanwhile, over at Chez French Basketeer, Andrea was readying several of her guest rooms for 2 other bloggers who made the trip down from the Bay Area, La Contessa Elizabeth and Jennifer from A Well Styled Life.
We were invited to join them for drinks and dinner that evening, so after checking into our Airbnb we had Siri direct us to the most storied home in Laguna Beach!
I had goosebumps as we drove up the private drive of this historic estate.
We retrieved the gift basket from the back of the car that I had assembled with various treasures from my prop shop and made our way up the charming stone steps.
We found ourselves at the double dutch door kitchen
entrance where we were greeted with champagne and a big hug from the one
and only French Basketeer, Andrea, and her darling mother, Lori.
This vignette was sitting just outside the kitchen door.
I think you will be amazed, as I was, to know that Andrea's kitchen while charming as I'll get out, is in fact quite compact!
Which makes it all the more amazing that she manages to create such incredible feats of feasts!
Here is a panoramic shot to give you an idea! Don't you love that dutch door?
And a peek inside her refrigerator!
I swear, I think she cooked through the night!
I think the Contessa is getting a mini cooking lesson... so let's go take a peek at her guest room!
Oh la la!!
C'est plus belle!
Fit for a Contessa!
Linen sheets and a wallpapered ceiling!
Check out this neat rope detail on the seagrass she recently had installed in here!
When I asked Andrea about it, she replied, "isn't it always done like that?" I didn't get that treatment on our Family Room installation. Need to investigate! Love it so much!!!
Back downstairs... what do we have here?
A delicious stash of French Basketeer Baskets! To buy go here.
Now that we are in the living room... shall we have a look around!
The living room is one gigantic room with two separate seating arrangements on either side of an entry space that leads directly outdoors.
I just love the casual elegance happening in here.
So you can really get the full effect of this incredible room I took a panoramic shot of it.
I am completely smitten with this space. It has the feel of an old world European Manse.
Heading back to the kitchen by way of the dining room.
The dining room became the staging scene for many of the fabulous desserts that were being readied for Saturday's Soiree.
Andrea didn't know it but I would sneak of piece of this fantastic brittle every time I passed by!
There is built-in storage in the dining room that holds china, glassware, silver, platters, etc.
The focal point of the dining room is this incredible window which used to be an aviary.
Meanwhile, back in the kitchen...
I found Biscuit and Honey hanging out in their favorite spot under the table where they could keep an eye on Andrea while she cooked.
Yes, homemade pasta! It would later be served with the most delectable mushroom sauce. My husband has not stopped talking about it!
The next morning after breakfast we came back to offer our help putting up the tulle panels in the loggia and setting up the bar.
I always love an attractively styled bar!
You can never have enough ice!
After a bit I snuck off to explore the environs...
This historic estate actually spans 5 lots!
There is something to behold at every turn!
I had the best time walking around and discovering many lovely little vignettes here, there and everywhere!
Take a look see...
I heard that one of the pups stood up here and patiently removed all the plants until he could clearly see the fish.
My hubby is reading the fascinating history of the house.
We hit the beach for a bit before heading back to get ready for the evening.
This park and beach access is just down the street and is where Lori walks the dogs.
It is breathtaking!
A needed yoga stretch.
We arrived just a bit early in case Andrea needed any last minute assistance...
Andrea suggested we take Uber so we wouldn't have to limit our fun!
The stage was set, the candles lit.
Christina from Greige and her sister were chatting away with the Contessa.
Sweet Mo insisted on taking our picture.
Andrea's mother, Lori, looking ever so lovely!
Chris is checking on the wine.
The table glowed!
The buffet was the perfect focal point to the table in the loggia and was lit up in anticipation of the parade of desserts that would put the icing on the evening!
Delectable hors d'oeuvres were passed around.
The Filet Mignon went into the oven...
while the hors d'oeuvres kept coming!
Butternut squash soup was served in teacups.
At this point, I pretty much stopped taking photos and just immersed myself in the incredible evening that ensued under the lovely loggia in Laguna Beach with the lovely French Basketeer and her very lovely guests!
I am a passionate treasure huntress addicted to "the thrill of the hunt." I pride myself on finding unique items and have spent a lifetime collecting unusual and interesting "treasures" which I have used in decorating our home. I shop with an eye for design and look for pieces that I like to call the "jewelry" of the room. Those pieces that have been around accumulating energy thereby bringing life into a space by telling its story or evoking a memory. The allure is found in the details of its journey... condition, provenance and patina. Our collected "treasures" tell the story of who we are. Billy Baldwin said it best, "Decorating is never successful unless it is personal." My treasures are available for purchase in my Etsy Shop and on my companion blog, Shop La Dolfina. The links can be accessed from my sidebar.
"All of life is about energy. It's about the energy that you're putting out; energy that you're drawing to yourself, every day, based on the way you think about your life & the actions that you take. Everybody is an energy field. And because of your attitude, your thinking, your actions; who you choose to be in the world, forms your own field. You are drawing into your field people who are like you... to remind you, to show you, to reflect back to you- who you are. Believe that or not, that is what is happening all the time... and it does not require your belief. It just is. It. Just. Is." -Oprah