16 October, 2014

"Partly Cloudy . . . "


When we were first started plotting out our "Dark and Stormy Study" for the 2014 Traditional Home Showhouse in Napa - we were face to face with a dark room - with a low, dark raftered ceiling.  It's not exactly a huge challenge for us to work in a dark space . . . it's actually something that I kinda of enjoy.  As usual - we never try to make a dark space 'brighter' - to the contrary, I really like to take them a bit darker and make them more intimate and private.

"The Dark and Stormy Study" - BEFORE.
Drawing on San Francisco's rich nautical history - we seemed to have started call it "The Dark and Stormy Study" right from the beginning - as I was inspired by the exposed rafter ceiling - that had a certain ship's keel attitude to it.  But, we wanted something that felt much more romantic and moody than just a perky, navy and white sailor's room. 

So . . . . 

We found this AMAZING wallpaper from Fornasetti through Cole and Sons at Lee Jofa.  We were certainly going to have the "dark and stormy" mood well under control with this flawlessly evocative wallcovering!

Here's an image from the west wall during wallpaper installation day.
I can assure you - there were squeals of delight when we saw this!

The completed west wall.
(photography by Thayer Allyson Gowdy) 
But . . . we needed a bit of brightness to balance out the space . . . so we delved into bright "marine blue" linens and classic madras plaids from Lee Jofa and Ralph Lauren Home.

(Photography by Thayer Allyson Gowdy) 

So . . . now we come to "A Piece of Sky" . . . .

"A Piece of Sky" by Daniel Tousigant
through Geras/Tousingant Gallery

The painting is by a dear friend of mine here in San Francisco - Daniel Tousignant
His work always resonates with me.  They are often based on classic 
"old world" motifs - but, presented in a completely modern point of view.  And you
can only imagine the 'squeal of delight' when I first saw it.

I loved this bright, sunny 'window on the world' contrasting against the dark, moody wallpaper.
I knew when we had these two pieces for the room - we were going to be all set. 

Another of Daniel's works.

You might also recognize Daniel's work from the photo shoot
of my own home with House Beautiful last December.
That's another of his pieces hanging in my bedroom.
(photography by Thayer Allyson Gowdy) 

I'll have more 'behind the scenes' posts over the next few weeks!


12 October, 2014

"Sunday Runway - Striped . . . "

James Dean sporting some sporty navy and white stripes. 

I thought I'd celebrate our "Dark and Stormy Study" from this year's Traditional Home Napa Showhouse with a little celebration of nautical style!  One can rarely go wrong with a simple navy and white stripe . . . both in one's interior design . . . as well as one's wardrobe -


"The striped breton shirt as we know it today came into being shortly following the 27th March, 1858 Act of France which introduced the navy and white striped knitted shirt as the uniform for all French navy seaman in Brittany,  The shirt was originally known as marinière or matelot. The original design featured 21 stripes, one for each of Napolean's victories."

Robert Redford looking stylish - as always. 

Originally reserved for professional purposes, the Fisherman’s sweater has 
now become, like denim, a 20th century fashionable clothing item.

"Within a few decades several color variants appeared: red, white, striped, but it should be remembered that, in the Navy, the single colored sweater was reserved for officers, and the striped variety for sailors. To this day, in the French Navy, young recruits wear a striped tee-shirt during their three month onboard training period.

Rooted in our common heritage, this mythical sweater is worn by both 
fishermen and enthusiast sailors, at sea, and in town. The chandail is now 
a quintessential item for the wardrobe or adventurers, artists 
and fashion conscious consumers alike."
from the History of Saint James of Normandy

Coco Chanel

From Saint James of Brittany. 
If this gets you hankering for one of your own - check out Saint James.


10 October, 2014

"The Dark and Stormy Study . . . "

Scot Meacham Wood Design's "The Dark and Stormy Study"
photography by Thayer Allyson Gowdy


I'm delighted to invite you to a sneak preview of our 2014 Traditional Home Napa Showhouse - opening this weekend.  For our "Dark and Stormy Study," we decided to embrace San Francisco's rich maritime history and imagine a retired sea captain and his rustic Napa Valley retreat.

"Sky" painting by Daniel Tousignant

"Scot Meacham Wood of Scot Meacham Wood Design is transforming 
the Napa Showhouse’s historical Cheese Barn into a dark and stormy study 
for a retired sea captain. Influenced by San Francisco’s rich maritime history 
and inspired by the rustic architecture of the Cheese Barn space, Wood 
is taking this opportunity to explore what kind of wine country hideaway a 
dignified seafaring man would create for himself after a life spent 
navigating California’s rocky coast. Removed from the rest of 
the house, the Showhouse’s Cheese Barn is the ideal location for 
Wood to express his creative vision for a 
moody, refined, and masculine private space."

We were delighted to partner with Kravet and Lee Jofa for the maritime-inspired textiles and the marvelous Bunny Williams Lamps that add a flawless note of modernity to our space!  We *love* that heavy-gauge wool throw from Jessie Black - located right here in San Francisco.  I am especially grateful to Garden Court Antiques for the amazing collection of antique pond yacht models which add the perfect seafaring aesthetic for the room.

"To bring Meacham Wood’s design to life, he’s relying on a dark coastal 
color palette of navy, gray, and sand. In addition, he’s utilizing a mixture 
of existing architectural features of the space, like exposed rafters, along with 
bringing in hand built sets to cover some walls to allow for the application 
of wallpaper and paint. The result will be a space that reflects to the 
Showhouse’s historic design and location, while still giving 
Wood the ability to fully realize his creative vision."

If you're in the San Francisco bay area in the next month - make plans to attend the showcase house and view this marvelous collection of interior designers!

For tickets and more information on the showcase house - click HERE.


All images by Thayer Allyson Gowdy Photography

09 October, 2014

"A Sneak Peek Preview . . . "


For this year's Traditional Home Napa Showhouse . . . we thought we'd try a slightly more austere aesthetic.  Something a bit more on the 'restained' side than our expected 'layered' side.

Stop back by tomorrow to see the room revealed.


(photography by Thayer Gowdy)

02 October, 2014

"Because You Have To Start Somewhere . . . "


We are completely excited about our involvement in this year's Traditional Home Napa Valley Showcase House opening on October 12th.

And just so you know . . . the above image is what we started with.

Click HERE for more details.

Stay tuned,

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