Two Years On, My House Becomes More and More My Home

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Those of you who have followed this blog may remember that in addition to cooking, one of my passions is interior design. So when I bought my first house in April of 2012, I was finally able to begin to create a home that was completely mine. Back then I promised I would occasionally update you on my progress. I’ve been remiss on keeping that promise, alas. Today, I hope to make up for that, with photos of my living room, dining room, and my new guest room, which I’m calling the Moroccan room. In another post, very soon, there’ll be photos of my kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms. Thanks for your patience. Comments, good, bad, indifferent, are indeed welcome!

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Photos:  Top–The platter in the niche above the fireplace was found by my friend and decorating co-conspirator, Frank Melanson. It is believed to  be Tunisian.  Above: The living room as seen from the foyer.  I originally painted the living room and dining room gold, but that proved to be too dull, so I repainted it a brighter, yellowy cream (many more photos after the jump). See what my home looked like in December 2012 here.

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Vignette: Still life on the tansu to the right of the fireplace.

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Living room as seen from the dining room. Last summer, I had plantation shutters installed on the 6 x 8-foot picture window.

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This painting, a house-warming gift, is of the Texas hill country. The orchid is from Trader Joe’s.

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Living room looking towards the foyer.  Pillows from Target!

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Detail of shelves in the living room.

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This little room used to be my office, but because I now have a housemate who took over the second bedroom, we put in a daybed and converted this  to a cozy guest room. The design inspiration is Moroccan, but it’s still very much a work in progress. My desk moved to the garage, but I do nearly all my computer work in my bedroom.

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Indonesian puppet on built-in shelves in the Moroccan room.

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Dining room: The controversial chandelier is still there. I guess it is growing on me, but my hope remains to some day replace it with a Moroccan-style lantern.

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Dining room as seen from the living room. The water color with the dark green matting was painted by my late grandmother, Myrtle Jones Peterson.

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Dining room: mirror above the sideboard.

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View from the living room picture window. The neighborhood is full of stuccoed houses built in the 1930’s.

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11 responses

  1. Love your house, great style along with a man who can cook macrobiotic, YOU ARE GREAT!
    See my blog, haven’t posted much but you are an inspiration. 🙂

  2. I love it! It’s so cozy and filled with good vibes. You have excellent taste, and I think you should go with your instincts and get rid of that chandelier. It’s a sour note in a beautiful symphony.

  3. I think your house is absolutely stunning. Now if I could just catch one of your dinners when I happen to be in California….

  4. Very extreme talent Gary, your other passion really is interior decoration. Boy do I need help with that. My house here in Oregon is crying out for a ‘decorator’. Your house is so WARM and inviting, everything one wants with a HOME………!

  5. Like you, coming from the Midwest, I love the orange/yellow in the living room. There is something about yellow that shouts California! And the plate above the fireplace is perfect!

    The plantation shutters add a bit of privacy without the darkness of window coverings. Love the Moroccan room! Love the pillows there, and in the living room. A very homey home with graciousness and sophistication. I always have loved the 30’s and you bring them to life in Vallejo! I love seeing how your house has come together! Can’t wait for the next post! Cheers!

  6. In thinking about the chandelier, the 30’s were known for a love for bling and sparkle, but they also continued and developed great stained glass. I think a stained glass light fixture could be really pretty, or a mosaic which would be more of the Moroccan. That is the great thing about having a house, it is a great work in progress, and it is great fun! Cheers! Sky ANN

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