Style Guide: Mediterranean

As the name suggests, the Mediterranean style originated in European countries north of the Mediterranean Sea - Greece, Spain, and Italy.  Most of the preeminent architects of the age were primarily known for painting and sculpture, skills which they often put to good use in the decoration of the palaces they were designing for their wealthy patrons.  Bramante was to distinguish himself in ecclesiastical architecture enjoying papal patronage for his long career.  Sangallo, Michelangelo, Rafael, Michelozzi and others executed many domestic designs for palaces in both urban and rural environments to complete a resume that includes both public and private architecture.  Private courtyards were a defining feature of the urban palaces of the time in an effort to reproduce in miniature the grand gardens of the country estates.  The style is characterized by visual elements like arched windows and doorways, low-pitched roof lines covered in tiles, and stucco walls.  Intricate stone details can also be found throughout interior and exterior elements.

Take a look at a few famous modern day mediterranean style homes you may recognize....
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Okay, so maybe this isn't exactly "attainable," but Cher's massive Italian Renaissance Malibu estate is a good example of modern day Mediterranean architecture.  It was up for sale a few years back for a whopping $45 Million.

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Michael Douglas' ex-wife Diandra Douglas resides in the Mediterranean style home built in the 1920's that the couple had purchased in 1979 for $275,000 in Montecito. 


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A villa-style home designed by Reginald Johnson in 1915, the renowned architect of the Biltmore Hotel.


And here are a few Visbeen Architects' designed Mediterranean abodes...
 The Domenico


 Legacy Woods


Star Coast Villas, a development in China


If you are looking to achieve the Mediterranean style, here are a few great products to consider:
  • Roofing: GAF Roofing has a designer shingle line called Monaco.  It gives you the look of a genuine European tile roof at a fraction of the cost with the added bonus of a lifetime ltd transferable warranty with Smart Choice Protection for the first ten years.
  • Fireplace / kitchen hood details: Tartaruga Design Inc. offers historical European-inspired mantelpieces and kitchen hoods, impeccably crafted and hand-sculpted.  They offer nearly unlimited combinations of design variations, material choices and hand finishes, making each piece as unique as the properties they are made for.
  • Stone details:  Haddonstone is the leading manufacturor of cast stone building materials, making elements like quoins, keystones, balustrades, coping and capping, etc.
  • Windows: Loewen windows offers a variety of window lines and even custom designs to perfectly fit every architectural style, including Mediterranean.


Guess What I Found Recently!

For about a year I've been looking for some different dining chairs.

We bought our solid oak table in the early 80s in California. It is 42" square claw feet legs but has 2 leaves with it. We got six chairs and the table for $1,400 at that time which would be several hundred dollars more at today's prices. It is solid oak with a brown stain, which I've grown very tired of and want to paint. The problem is I don't want to do the grunge work of sanding. I've done that and refuse to do it again. That's a tough job.

The chairs that came with it were more a country look, which suited me at the time; they don't anymore and I've covered them with slipcovers I made several years ago. I wanted a new look.

So I went on a quest to find some french chairs. I do like that look. I did an internet search every couple of months to see what was available but nothing I liked or wanted to pay a high price for.  Then, lo and behold, while checking Craigslist recently I came across a table, 6 chairs, a beautiful hutch and an Aubusson rug. I didn't want all of those things and really didn't want to spend a lot of money. So I emailed the seller and we agreed upon a price for 2 chairs. I didn't want her arm chairs and 2 chairs needed the cane seats fixed. So we made an appointment to see the chairs.

Have you ever actually been inside a gated community of million dollar homes? I never had. I've been in some exquisite homes but nothing like this neighborhood in Eagle, an upscale suburb of Boise. When we moved to Idaho in the 90s we could have gotten a new home there for $159,000. Not any more. These homes were definitely upscale. Beautiful inside also.

Anyway, the woman and her hubby were gracious and we bought the 2 chairs pictured below. She buys and resells furniture and these she got at a store in Palm Springs, California, with which I'm familiar. These are very good chairs. I'm thrilled to have them and at a price that was extremely good because at Ethan Allen, my favorite furniture store along with Thomasville, I would have started at about $700+ for upholstery of my choice for similar chairs. I am very pleased with my chairs. It gives a totally different look to the dining room.


The two chairs.


Design on chairs.


Cane seats and backs.


Nice and tight.


The backs.


Gorgeous legs with bracings, which shows it's sturdy.


Just a lovely silhouette with the curved legs.


This is what I'll be making for the two I bought.
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Don't you just love this bright pink fence?!


Sweet pink vignette with peonies.


Some old ephemera.


A beautiful shuttered home with an English garden.


The way I like froufrou!!!


Now this is my kind of hammock. Slather it with fluffy ruffled duvets, pillows and cushions. Ummm-hmmm.


I've seen 2 cookies lately that are the most gorgeous ever. This is one set. I'll show the other later with another post.


An antique sign, pink table, pink upholstered vintage chair, pink cushions and a flowered lamp. My kind of decoration for a living room.
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Tidbit:
Oprah Winfrey sleeps on Frette bedsheets, which boast a very high thread count and sell for thousands of dollars a set. They are exceptional sheets. Looking at the website recently, I could have gotten a set marked down to $1,372.00 from $2,745.00 and that's just plain white 100% Egyptian cotton. It does have delicate lace around the top sheet and the pillow has an edging of lace and an inset of lace. Made in Italy. Oh, I guess you know by now I won't be purchasing them any time soon, right? ;-)
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Builder Magazine: Mad for Trad

The winners of the 2013 Best in American Living Awards affirm that traditional good looks still appeal to all kinds of buyers.  Our Best in the Midwest design, the Warren, is included in this feature with the story behind the design.  Another great example of a truly beautiful home as unique as the family it was designed for.

To view the full article, click here to visit our website.

Social Media...Again!

Okay, another great grandma brag here. (Remember, it's my blog and I can do this any time I want!) ;-) This is Miss Juliette as of just a few days ago. She's now a few months old. Her sister just loves her a lot. When she went to her daycare to visit with her friends, she called out, "Everybody, this is my Juliette!" She's a very proud and loving big sister. Juliette loves to be held and is a very sweet baby, sleeping through the night already. She's also a very happy little girl.





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The kids are after me again to...well, let me tell you—upgrade my cell phone. If you know me or have read my blog for any amount of time, you know my feelings on social media; I hate it. I have a Facebook account under an fictitious name to see my grandkids and great grandkids. I don't twitter, although, I tried it for a couple of days and then deleted it. Why would anyone want to know what I'm cooking that day or if I'm in the bathroom on the toilet? Boggles my mind. Even at the continuous nagging by my kids, I don't text. Gasp!!! I want to hear their voices and emotions and I'm just horrible at "two-thumbing" talking. I also hate, hate, hate with a passion people in line at the store talking about their very private lives while the rest of us are appalled at them. In restaurants, I've been watching the folks around us and a couple or a family will all pull out their cell phones and are talking on the cell phone or playing games. Where's the family sociality there? No wonder families are in danger! They don't talk to each other; they text each other. I know this to be true with some families we know. I make Love Bunny turn his off before we go into the restaurant. Mine is rarely on except if I'm shopping and need to ask hubs something we might need. I just don't use it much at all. My granddaughter is the same way and she works for Microsoft. She just got one these past few months when pregnant with her 2nd child and her hubby couldn't find her and thought she'd gone into labor. He had a fit so we gave her an old one of ours we never threw away and put her on our plan for ten dollars more a month. NO data plan, no fancy apps, just a phone she can let someone know if she's in trouble. She and I think so much alike, it's as if she's my daughter and not my granddaughter.

And we don't have a television, which brings up my newest rant.

Why do I have to go out to a restaurant with televisions spread all over the place blaring out sports events while my hubs and I are trying our best to talk? I love Applebee's best of all but I'm getting sick of the loud noise. Olive Garden or other restaurants at which we dine don't have the televisions blaring. Actually, Olive Garden has a separate room on the other side of the dining area at our local one here in town. I truly appreciate that. But while dining we should be chatting with the person or couple, not trying to talk above a blaring sports event. Okay, I'll slither back into my hole now and calm down. :-)
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This is a gorgeous room I think. Love the striped curtains.


Just eye candy roses and lilacs.


I have no clue where this building is but it is stunning with its architecture.


Radishes even make a gorgeous flower arrangement.


Fairies? If they say so, it must be true. Can you spot them?


Gorgeous wallpaper.


Gorgeous balcony and french doors.


A small little private area in a big city.


I think Claudia would like this island. ;-)


Gorgeous, stunning fuchsia chairs and curtains.


Pretty pillow cases with embroidered lace edges.


Eye candy tag for you.


My kind of license plate!


Yummy cookies!


Another place for your pretties, hanging in the windows overlooking an ocean.
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Tidbit:
It is illegal in the U.S. to sell raw almonds. They must be pasteurized before sale.
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