Saturday, May 30, 2009

New Orleans Flavor

I first became aware of  the very talented Designer Neetsy Walker through New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles May 2009 issue.  They featured a home that Neetsy and her husband, Johnny, own in Hammond, Louisiana.

I was so impressed by her unassuming style that I quickly let my fingers do some walking (running actually) to find some more information on Neetsy.

Soon, I came across a few other articles that featured her work.   I would call her design aesthetic clean, simple, traditional with a touch of modern and with just the right amount of furnishings.

The following pictures are all from New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles magazine.


Designer Neetsy Walker and friend Cissy Carville.

The Walkers’ house has been a playground in which Neetsy has experimented with her design.  The former owner of an antiques shop, Neetsy had some great pieces to work with.


Trees, fuchsia azaleas and greenery line the path to the Walkers’ front door.



The table used as a desk is a great choice of organic materials in this master bedroom.  The leather chair is from Anthropologie.

The dining room continues the organic feel with this simple and understated antique cypress table, which is topped with an Oly pendant fixture from Home and Garden, A Plant Gallery Store, in Covington; Philippe Starck slipcovered chairs; and a bench by Mario Villa.

The upstairs hall opens is simplified with Sherwin Williams’ Dover White paint and a geographical runner rug.  The breakfront is from Neetsy’s grandfather’s Napoleon Avenue home.  The resin pendant fixture is from UDwell.


Neetsy’s office is outfitted with a desk from GB (no longer in business), a desk chair from IKEA, and a pair of Johnathan Adler chairs covered with an IKEA fabric, which I love.


A wide center hall opens onto living spaces on both sides of the first floor.   An Empire buffet inherited from her family is on the left along with  a pair of Louis XV chairs and a Georgian-style sofa opposite them.   Baton Rouge artist Frances Walker painted the cove ceiling.   The painting above the sofa is from Villa Vici in Covington.

The living room has a very cozy feel with a sectional that Neetsy  divided and a beautiful French desk.  The school house globe pendant light fixture/fan adds just the right touch of simplicity to a room that is rich in details.

The sitting room’s fireplace and mission-style mantel is original to the house.  Neetsy reworked and expanded the shelves and added closed cabinets with frosted glass.

The new master bedroom is a monochromatic collection of neutrals.  The “green” patchwork rug, made from recycled remnants of Turkish wool rugs, is from ABC Carpet & Home in New York.  The lucite lamps are great because they visually don’t take up any space.


The Walkers flipped the floor plan of the house so that the kitchen would overlook and access the porch outside.  Artist Robin Hamaker painted the bleached wooden floor with a diamond pattern, which gives this space a lot of character and a bit of whimsy.

Neetsy covered vintage deco iron piece with all-weather synthetic material that is usually used on boats for her porch.  Pillows from west Elm, teak shades and gourds are grown by one of Neetsy’s daughters.




Cissy and Jack Carville hired friend Neetsy Walker to design their Covington Home.  Here, their living room, with beautiful slip-covered furniture and seagrass rug, opens up to the porch. 


The glass in the front door was designed by Neetsy.    Light fixture is “Taller Uno” by Global Lighting from 100 Watt.


A custom table was made for the breakfast room by Bill Kiermaier.   Dr. No chairs from Design Within Reach.  White Oak Floors with a white stain.



Dining Room table with slip-covered chairs in white denim fabric. 



Lovely porch with West Elm chairs and pillows.    Pankotto bench and Prince Aha stools from Design Within Reach.   The porch floor is painted Sherwin Williams “Tavern Taupe” deck enamel. 

I’ll be looking for more of Neetsy’s designs. 

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Harmony in the Home

I got to thinking about why I originally put together this blog.  At first, it was a desire to speak interior design with all the other designers and bloggers out there who had such incredible blogs and information to share.  Some of my favorites are;  French Essence, The City Sage, Cote de Texas, Grayson:  A Different Shade of Grey, and Tobi Fairley.

But, then I thought about my blog name.  Harmony and Home.  Where balance, serenity and living come together.  I try to achieve this everyday in my life, because life can be so chaotic.

So, in an effort to speak harmonious homes to you, I thought about what makes a home harmonious to me.  Symmetry, balance, organic materials, and simple color palettes are a start.  So, I’ve gathered together some wonderful images that speak Harmony and Home to me.



111 interior concepts 

Here on this stone porch is a wonderful mix of wood, cane and rattan.  Plus, the simple color palette, with the blue/grey flagstone, the coordinating table color and the coordinating color on the siding of the home make this space feel very relaxing.

Barclay Butera 1

Again, more rattan in this beach home designed by Barclay Butera.  Plants add life to a room as well.  If possible, I try to incorporate a little green into each room.

Bedroom - Lori Dennis Designer - Fine Living

Lori Dennis Designer had wonderful bones to begin with in designing this space.  The incredible wood plank ceiling gives this room an instant earthy feel.  Add a some succulents, a great large floor mirror to reflect all the organic elements of the room and you have peaceful living.


This James Radin designed bedroom with the seagrass wallcovering is one of my favorite ways to incorporate organic material into a room.  I love how he paired the bedspread with the wonderful picture on the wall.



Thomas Pheasant is one of my favorite designers.  The man just knows how to pull a room together.  It’s never overkill and it always just seems to have the right amount of furniture, accessories, pattern and color.  Here, he has a very neutral color scheme with creams and wood tones. 


Yes, it’s a bathroom and yes, a lot of bathrooms are white, but what sets this one apart for me are cool blue tones that are ever so slightly added to the wallpaper, the color of the glass and even a touch of blue grey in the floor tile.   This is a bathroom that I could truly be quiet in for hours.

   Bedroom 3

Another one of my favorite color schemes is white with a straw color as shown here in this bedroom.  The bed is fantastic with it’s fabric weave and the lampshades, drapes and what looks like shell prints call up sweet dreams.

Living Room

I featured this picture in a post not long ago, but I’m repeating it here to show how simple and elegant white furniture is with dark wood.  This is splendor to me!



Living room - Chris Barrett - Fine Living

The two sofas facing each other provide wonderful symmetry and balance  to this room, whose focal point is of course that wonderfully tiled fireplace!  Gorgeous!  What does one look at first…. the fireplace or that beautiful tin ceiling?

Living Room 3

Here the room offers both symmetry, balance and a calm and simple color palette.  I love cane chairs and the chaise in front of the fireplace is perfect for laying back and reading a book while listening to a crackling fire.



Hamilton Design Associates made this wall as symmetrical as one can get with the bookcases, sconces and wall ornament surrounding the loveseat and tall mirror.



This Flatiron apartment by Goralnick Architecture and Design displays a good example of balance in the room.  The seating group is centered around a round glass coffee table and the two tall table lamps provide height at either end of the sofa.


Here designer James Radin balanced this bedroom with opposite chair with ottoman and chaise lounge.  He smartly placed a loveseat with a view to the exterior and kept the wall color simple.  The seagrass rug completes the beach house aesthetic.


Hamilton Design Associates balanced this dining room with the bench seat opposite the buffet.  The large round mirror reflects the exterior and opposing mirrored corner cabinets give the room an architectural element that is fantastic.

What is the most peaceful room in your home and why? 

EXCITING NEWS…. I will be having a contest soon where I will award one lucky reader a 40 x 40 framed piece of artwork.  Stay tuned for information on the fabulous company that is offering this to you.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Hotel Series: CordeValle

Just about 5 minutes from where I live, there is a beautiful luxury hotel, home to exclusive guests, such as Barbara Streisand, who slip in and out of town unnoticed.  It’s easy to get to.  The rich and famous fly into our little airport in San Martin and after a 5-10 minute ride they pull into a secluded mountainside retreat that is unlike any other in the nearby area.

The resort, just 15 miles south of San Jose offers the very best amenities, including bungalows and villas.  CordeValle offers a luxury spa and award winning golf course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.


Overhead view of CordeValle.  Pristine mountain setting offers a relaxing and reclusive get-away.



Clubhouse at Night.    The electrified candle chandelier provides a rustic aesthetic, along with an exposed beam portico.



The lobby is warm and welcoming, again with another electric candle chandelier and wood columns and beams open to the ceiling.



The lobby fireplace is perfect for those chilly Northern California evenings.



One Iron Bar offers one of three restaurant/bar options at the resort.



The bar patio with outdoor firepit is a beautiful place to relax out under the stars.



One of the bungalows, complete with view of the mountainside setting and personal fireplace.



Each bungalow bathroom offers a spa soaking tub.



The villa living rooms are cozy and french doors open up to the beautiful property.



The villa courtyards offer a private jacuzzi tub.



The villa patios views are extraordinary, overlooking the award-winning golf course.



Another view of a fairway villa. 



An outdoor heated swimming pool, along with tennis courts offer guests activities onsite.



CordeValle Golf Course

[From the website] Featuring a 260-acre, 18-hole championship golf course designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the California golf resort has garnered some of America's most prestigious golf recognition in 2007 and 2008 including:

Condé Nast Traveler: Top 100 Golf Resorts Worldwide, No. 13
Golf Digest: Best State Golf Course
Gary Gaylean's The Golf Letter: Best Golf Resorts in the World
Golfweek: America's Best Resort Golf Courses
Golf Digest Index: America's 50 Best Golf Course, No. 14
Golf Magazine: Top 100 Courses You Can Play



Spa Relaxation Room.  The resort’s spa, Sense, offers a bevy of services, including massages, mud wraps, body scrubs, facials and manis and pedis.



Women’s Lounge.



Il Vigneto Restaurant featuring  Executive Chef Luca offers  Italian cuisine.

Spectacular menu offerings such as Persimmon Braised Prosciutto Wrapped Short Ribs and Hand Made Butternut Squash & Truffle Tortelloni.

Right next to CordeValle is Clos La Chance Winery, locally owned operated by Bill and Brenda Murphy.  A beautiful winery with excellent wines (I’ve had the pleasure to try them there and elsewhere in the area many times!).


Clos La Chance Winery is home to many special events, dinners, wine parties and wonderful for a relaxing lunch on the back patio overlooking the beautiful CordeValle Golf Course.


Clos LaChance Winery

The back patio is used for outdoor dinners, auctions and other events throughout the year.


The Grand Salon is a beautiful room with high ceilings, which provides perfect space for indoor weddings.


Tasting Room

The Clos La Chance tasting library is homey and always staffed by the nicest sommeliers.


Grand Lawn

Tapestry Lawn


Mulberry Grove

The Mulberry Grove


Clos LaChance Winery

Another look out onto the vineyards.  The beautiful mountainside provides a perfect setting for the local artists.

Although not cheap, a stay at CordeValle is well worth a splurge weekend for a special occasion.  Let me know if you come to town and I’ll give you my list of must-sees!

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