Friday, June 29, 2012

Beach Bound

The Mister and I are off to enjoy the remainder of our stay-cation. We're embracing this downtime and hitting the beach right after breakfast today. Plans for the day include a whole lot of nothing.

I had no idea just how much I needed a whole lot of nothing.

Hope you are able to squeeze in a little downtime yourself this weekend.

See you back here next week!


Image via

Thursday, June 28, 2012

[Project Reveal} Striped Bathroom Walls

Sometimes I wish somebody would grab me by the shoulders, look me square in the eye and say, "no Erin, you are not going to do that."

That's what I texted to my friend Elissa yesterday in the middle of what had already begun to feel like a complete disaster of a project just a couple of paint strokes in. I've always considered myself extremely fortunate to have a husband that shakes his head and looks the other way with the constant turnover in our home decor. But yesterday, well I was quickly wishing he had reminded me that I was on vacation and then stood his ground and forbid me to paint stripes across our middle bathroom wall.

I blame it on my recent stay at The Avalon hotel and Kelly Wearstler. I've always admired it from afar, but two mornings of cappuccinos under a canopy of stripes in the hotel restaurant and I came home resolved to replicate a similar design in my own home. I had the perfect place in mind for a little deco inspired pattern too. I'd been searching high and low for the right pattern at the right cost, as a temporary (3-4 years) solution for our guest bathroom. At some point, the renovations at Holtwood House will turn to this well traveled room with a complete redux incorporating new tile, countertops, shower doors and flooring. But for now, it was desperately in need of a little zhushing to hold us over.

So yesterday I found myself two hours and two rolls deep in painter's tape and already wishing I had thrown down the small fortune it would have cost to paper the bathroom in one of the many rolls I had contemplated over the last couple of months. Perhaps it just would have been worth it. The measuring and re-measuring and checking with the level was starting to put me over the edge. Our walls are slightly textured as well, so despite pressing and re-pressing down those edges, I was sure I'd get feathered lines.

When the first rolls of paint hit the wall, I was in sheer, irrational, panic mode. Should I grab my rag and try to wipe it all off and abandon the project now? At some point as I kept on rolling away, I talked myself off the ledge and reasoned that it was just paint and I could roll right on over all it if it was a complete disaster.

Thank God it wasn't.

It's probably one of the happiest little spots at Holtwood House at this point. I can't stop flipping on the lights to get another peek.

For this project, I used Silver Drop by Behr as the background color and painted over it with stripes of Almost Aqua by Glidden. For scale, the stripes are 6" each and offset only once down the middle of the sink. I'm halfway through a matching chevron pattern on the back of the door as well, though I'm waiting to install new door hardware in order to finish up the painting.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

{Not So} Minor Setback

With progress there often comes a setback or two and we were unlucky enough to encounter one this month here at Holtwood House. When we were in escrow, the inspection had revealed an inoperable pool heater, which was a bummer, but by no means a deal breaker. We went a year and a half without one and realized that if we wanted to use the pool year round, we were gonna have to make the investment in some type of heating system for the pool. After a lot of research and weighing out all the costs, we decided to put one before we headed into our second summer here. 

Within a week of installation, we realized we probably had ourselves a gas leak, which was promptly confirmed by our local Gas Company. So here we were, already knee deep in investment and looking at the added cost of installing a new line... but not just installing the line, trenching and all the mess and added expense that went with it. Another bummer was that the line would have to be installed right under one of my favorite garden beds in the yard. 

I shared a bit about the side yard progress in this previous post.  The kangaroo paw and feather grass border had taken off even further since March (rule of thumb: you won't reap the benefits of most planting until the next season), so much so that I had to thin it out in a few spots.  It was absolutely overflowing with tall golden rods and the thought of digging up the plants was a little heartbreaking. 

We arrived at a compromise- we would end up losing the unwieldy stems, but the guys at Sherwood Construction saved the day and all the plants in the bed. Nonetheless, it was a little scary when we saw this:

Choosing not to hunt for and bandaid any holes, we abandoned the old line, which frankly wasn't deep enough in the first place. The guys trenched 75 feet from meter to heater for a solid day and laid in a brand new line at the right depth. That is the sidewalk they are walking on to the right, butting up against our freshly painted house. 

Here's what it looked like just a mere 24 hours later. All's well that ends well when you find a good crew of guys that know how to leave a clean work site. 

And trust me, the 85 degree pool water is worth every penny.

Monday, June 25, 2012

{Weekend Recap}: Escape to LA

I so needed this:

...and this...

...and the best part is, I'm enjoying a stay-cation for the remainder of the week. That means, five weekday mornings of putting about with my coffee cup and enjoying the warm, sweet smell of summer mornings on the patio. 'Course, I'll also have plenty of time in the afternoons to enjoy a sip or two here

Can you tell I'm digging it?


Friday, June 22, 2012

{Project Reveal} DIY Cabana Awning

I've been hinting around now for several weeks about a big project I've been working on at Holtwood House and today, I'm finally able to reveal the final result. If you recall, in Monday's post, I shared some of my favorite poolside awnings with you and told you that The Mister and I were looking into one in order to bring a little "hotel" to our own pool deck. Well, I wrapped this baby up just in time for our first "stay-cation" of the year. That's right friends- while I'm off the clock next week, I'll be enjoying a poolside cocktail under our own poolside cabana.

You should know a couple of things about this project.

This started out using the existing metal patio structure built onto the house. While that afforded us a nice sturdy frame, it also provided some challenges that had to be solved creatively.  

How and where to hang it were the two biggest challenges we faced in light of the fact that any holes drilled into the structure would compromise water resistance. We were also working with metal- not wood- which required bulkier nuts and bolts vs. screws and nails in some very tight spaces. Most of all, this thing has to stay put. We are prone to Santa Anas around these parts and we had to put our heads together to figure out a way to sidestep holes in critical areas while providing adequate support. 

But, all of that naturally were problems I waited to solve later, while I dove headlong into 50 feet of Sunbrella fabric to sew 'er up. In the end, we were able to find a non-critical "lip" of metal that spanned the perimeter of our patio, allowing us space for those anchor holes we so desperately needed to drill. Add to that dozens of methodically placed grommets, zip ties, baste stitches and we finally have ourselves a cabana fit for a hotel. 

Oh... you want to know what's going on with that bar? 

That would be the second House Bar I mentioned in Tuesday's post. My Pops built it. Isn't it delish?
We cut an 8 ft section out of the patio wall and he spent several weeks knee deep in saw dust, sandpaper and stain, designing our poolside perch. All that work deserves it's own post don't you think? I'll give you a proper tour soon. There are a lot of details there inside and out that I don't want you to miss!

Ironically, I'll be kicking off my vacation with drinks by a famous LA pool. Want to guess? I'll be sure to share some snaps via Instagram. Are you following holtwoodhipster yet?

Until then... cheers! Vacation or not, it's Friday friends. 


Thursday, June 21, 2012

{Other} Home Bars

Amy Lau

In yesterday's post,  I shared a peek at our own House Bar. Today, I thought I'd showcase some of my favorite built-ins and bar cart set ups found elsewhere. I love to see the clever ways designers or just homeowners in general incorporate this feature.

Because of our own home set-up, I'm slightly partial to built-ins vs. stand alone tables and carts.  I also love the look of all the pretty bottles displayed out and about all together. But some of these hide-away versions out there  are really pretty special, no? It'd be nice to be able to close up the doors and lock it all away with children running about the house.

Sasa Antic
James Wagman
Frank Features via Aubrey Road
Pretty much my dream set up. Cold beers at the ready via under-counter fridge. Yes please!

Another well appointed set up above. No need or detail left out. It's all right there.

Jen Altman via Design Sponge
Loving the artwork flanking the two carts above. 

Luis Bustamante
Sort of the end all be all entertaining space right? Two built in fridges to boot. 

You know, I got to thinking that it really doesn't have to  be a boozy display. Favorite bottled sodas, an espresso set up, even a pretty decanter of spa-water and your favorite glassware, can play the same role and provide an at-the-ready station to help welcome guests. I'm already thinking of incorporating a pitcher as a daily reminder to keep hydrated this summer.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The House Bar

The Mister and I are party people, people. One of the reasons we chose Holtwood House was because it afforded us the perfect layout and tons of space for entertaining family and friends. As we walked from room to room, imagining our future in the house that became ours, we would volley ideas, saying "this would be the perfect space for this, or that"- often relevant to some future fete that we would host.  One of the areas we earmarked- almost as early as our first walk-thru, was the area that would become the house bar... well the first of two.

The built in area sits in the main hub of the house, adjacent to the kitchen/dining area and right off the entryway. It is one of the first areas that welcome visitors to our home and while we use it frequently ourselves- even when not entertaining, we wanted anyone who visits to feel free to pour themselves a cocktail and kick up their feet.

How well space is used when entertaining is critical. Luckily, the built in cabinets that already existed in the house were well appointed with plenty of storage space above and below. The kicker was the built in cutting board that slides out when extra counter space is needed.

I mentioned that this is only one of two such spaces in our home. There is another area just outside the patio doors where we can belly up and pour ourselves a cocktail to be enjoyed by the pool. We've nearly stocked it up for the season and soon, this area will be well used once again with summertime fun to come. I'll share a sneak peak in a follow up post here shortly.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ice Cream Alternatives

I count ice cream as one of the four basic food groups. I mean, I love the stuff- on a cone or in a dish. I developed a taste for it early on as a frequent flyer at our local 31 Flavors counter and over the years, I've evolved to a serious pint at a time habit. But sometimes - just sometimes, I crave other- less caloric frozen treats.

I gave myself a challenge to find some tasty ice cream alternatives that will help me beat the heat this summer, without adding another size to my swimsuit.  Here's a round up of some that caught my attention.

one // two // three

one // two // three

one // two // three

one // two // three

one // two // three

Monday, June 18, 2012

Poolside Awnings

When I think about the pool decks at some of my favorite hotels, one of the things that always comes to mind are the glamorous striped and piped awnings of the cabanas that lay about them. 

Looking beyond the hotel cabana, I've always loved the idea of adding an awning directly to the house for a more for polished poolside look back home.


Sorta still says "vacation" doesn't it? 

We realized early on that a Mortgage and all of the things that come with it would no longer allow The Mister and I to skip out of town and enjoy a hotel pool as often as we used to. So when we were house hunting, one of the things on our wish list was a swimming pool of our own that would help make those "stay-cations" a little more fun. 

Of course, we knew we'd want to also make it a little more hotel-like as well and that an awning would help us achieve that look. 

Remember that little project I said I was working on? It's nearly done and I hope to share a sneak peek this week. I hope you'll check back and see the end result. It's a little thrilling.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Project Central

With our looming self-imposed deadline of July 1 to wrap up any big projects around the house for a while, I've been working like a dog to get through some of our stuff on "The List". I temporarily set up a little workstation in the sunroom so I can be a little closer to all the action (and pretend that I'm spending some leisure time outdoors). My latest project has much to do with the supplies on this table. Hopefully I'll be able to sneak you a peak of the finished product next week.

'Til then...


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Point of View

I came across this South African beach bungalow featured on the House and Leisure website and have gone back several times to view the images again and again. Perhaps it's wanderlust getting the best of me, but there was something in the accompanying article that also struck a chord. Most of us don't have the fortune of living on idyllic beachfront property. But even when we were renting just a little back house with a small plot of yard, I always valued the idea of letting the outdoors influence what was going on inside. I feel this even more today, as much of the backside of our house is open to the pool deck and yard. In some ways, I've spent more time trying to perfect the scene outside the windows than what lies on the other side of the panes.

Images via House and Leisure // Text Vicki Sleet  // Styling Tracy Lee Lynch  // Photographs Micky Hoyle


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

{3 Things} I Want to Make Right Now




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