Archives for September 2010

My Promises are Like Pumpkins…

…hollow and seedy.  Promises to myself, that is.  So in order to make good on my word to myself, I’m putting this blog on the back burner for a spell.  Oh, that lid will be slightly askew so I can keep an eye on what’s stewing in here.  Maybe I’ll throw a pinch of this or a sprinkle of that in every once in a while.

Is it a crime to spend almost a hundred dollars on pumpkins?  I found these at the Asheville Farmer’s Market, exit 47–that’s where you will find yer gourds in every shape and color.  You will think you need one of every variety–trust me.  Take only limited cash.


Well, I’m off to work on my other projects–fun ones, creative ones, and a good old-fashioned challenging one (painting…someone, motivate me).  I’ll pop up here in a few days and tell you who I met at the fabric store this week–a real sweetheart.  Oh, and have you checked out Design Refuge yet?

Shannon Berrey Design

I know you remember this room from the Cashiers Showhouse:

by Shannon Berrey Design

The kids and I were passing through Sylva, North Carolina, recently after field tripping it in Cherokee, NC, when I decided I needed to meet Ms. Berrey.  She was closing up shop for the day but let me in long enough to shake hands and meet the talented woman behind the adorable girl’s room at the showhouse.  And, guess what, she just launched a new blog.  I do hope you will stop on over and tell her hello.

Thank you for making WNC so pretty, Shannon!

Tour of the Villa, Part 2

Let’s finish the tour we started in Asheville…

The master bedroom:Bobbi’s light-filled studio (I’m so envious!):

The stairs off the kitchen, complete with barley twist handrail:My favorite bathroom in the house–I think it is the peach on the walls:
The desk Jerry used years ago when the kids were young and he was in school full-time and working full-time and getting a handful of hours’ sleep resides in the chink log room.Their son’s bed from his youth.

The room filled with items brought back from their African safari has double doors.  Don’t you love double doors to a bedroom?

The grandkids have their own bedroom and bathroom:

And one for their daughter, too:

The balcony off their daughter’s room.

Jerry’s office, his book reading stack on his desk looks like my blog reading stack.  I’m taking notes from Jerry and will cease to neglect my own book stack.  First on the stack, bio on Warhol–my stack, not Jerry’s.


Thank you, Bobbi and Jerry, for allowing me to wander the house and to poke around for the better part of the morning and afternoon.  The visit was wonderful at your beautiful estate.  And, thank you, for letting me share your dream house here.

Tour of the Villa

It was a move from Southeast Texas to the North Carolina mountains that brought the opportunity for Bobbi to build her dream home–that home she had been building in her mind for years.  Bobbi and her husband Jerry found 300 acres in Asheville to nestle their Tuscan-inspired villa in a meadow between mountains and stream.

You know I love touring homes–and especially homes belonging to people I know, friends.

The approach road.

My husband and I first met Jerry and Bobbi at a Houston-area church in the late 90s.  They had been in the city for years, where Jerry, an entrepreneur, built a successful business.  Jerry and other members of one of the Bible study groups helped establish a community service center in one of Houston’s roughest neighborhoods.  In this inner-city neighborhood the elementary school’s library had been neglected for decades.  Jerry’s company donated stacks of  books and furniture for a practically new facility for the kids; and I was fortunate enough to contribute a mural at one end of the room–my first ever.

A few years later Jerry and Bobbi moved to Asheville where Jerry planned to retire. Interestingly enough, our road also led to Asheville two years later–and we reconnected again coincidentally at another church.

The home they’ve built in North Carolina is romantic, idyllic, and a bit crumbly–which is just how Bobbi, an interior designer, wanted it to look.  Fond of old homes, she has created an atmosphere of age and history even though the house is only 7 years old.

The front door served as the entrance of an old commercial building in its previous life.  Bobbi found it at an architectural antique dealer in Los Angeles.

I love all the geraniums.

The little shed out back is a new addition for Bobbi’s new toy:  a tractor.

There was a sense of peace and home when I entered the foyer with antiques and crocheted lace–it also helped being greeted by Jerry who has a talent of putting people at ease.

Bobbi designed all the details of the house from intricate molding to the whimsical upholstered furniture.

The kitchen is my favorite space in the house with its brick walls, field stone floors, and mismatched cabinetry and furniture.

Natural light–a must have in my own dream kitchen–streams in through the bank of windows that look out to the front lawn.

That’s a bed in the kitchen!  When Bobbi saw a bed in her friend’s kitchen, she knew that she wanted to do one, too, in her own kitchen someday.  The bed has proven practical for overnight grandkids–but it sure is feeding my Tuscan love affair daydreams.  Ahem.

The huge woodburning fireplace smells divine.

Two doorways flank the range that lead to a dream butler pantry with an extra refrigerator, freezer, washer and dryer, and storage bonanza.

The conservatory which also doubles as Bobbie’s office is off the butler’s pantry.The pantry also links the kitchen with the mudroom, which is covered in wood dismantled from an old barn a mile down the road.


Come back for Part II, a tour of the bedrooms, bathrooms, and Jerry’s home office.

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