House Inspiration

Ok, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  I have been looking at buying a house in Napa, as a little weekend getaway.  Unfortunately, my budget is not St. Helena, it’s more like downtown Napa.  However, there are some great little finds in Napa right now.  The city is currently undergoing a revitalization.  The Ritz is building a new hotel there, some of the great culinary chefs are opening restaurants, the riverfront project is underway, and the amazing Oxbow market offers great shopping for fabulous cheeses, trinkets, and unique items.

I visited in January with a friend of mine to look at some houses and to get familiar with the different neighborhoods, etc.  I visited a number of houses, all under 1200 sq. ft, bungalow style and major fixer uppers.  I need a few more months until I’m ready to purchase but in the meantime, I continue to research homes to understand the market and look for inspiration on how I envision my little bungalow.  I want it to feel clean, uncluttered, open, and not over done.  I know how I want the kitchen to look and bathroom but the living room will be dependent on the house and space.  It’s been hard to find anything to serve as inspiration because most of what I see is too decorated.  I want it mixed with linen, woods, and sea grass.  Since most of the kitchens are so small – I want open shelving with white cabinets, marble counter tops, with a mix of new and old. 

I have longed for the Saarinen table with the white marble since I first studied in – in school.  Currently, it’s out of my budget so it’s likely i would use the white Docksta Table from Ikea pairing it with vintage chairs (see pink chairs down below).


saarinen dining table - natural marbles



Love the idea of a chalkboard in the kitchen and the vintage stove.

This most closely resembles what I envision.  I also want an apron sink (not pictured here).



Chairs to make the Saarinen table pop.

  I love the simplicity of this bedroom.  It feels very organic.

Outdoor spaces are very important to me.  I want a combination of an indoor porch with an outdoor space with a pergola and an eating area.

This photo below is very Napa.  I picture a zinc table with the some rustic chairs.

A Dutch Door is a MUST!  I have one now and love it. Any house I own will have one.  

To give you an idea of what style I’m looking at, take a peak below.  This was one of the houses I looked at in December. I loved this house.  It was just what I wanted as a little getaway house.  I drove by this several weeks ago with my boyfriend to see what they had done to it.  The people painted it gray and it completely took away from the charm of the house.  It’s funny, when the realtor took me to this house he said, “Your not going to like it, it’s a dump!” I walked in and I told him I loved it.  He started laughing.  He get’s me now!  I tend to like things that need a lot of work.  But I saw potential in this little gem!


The side viewP1000240

I loved the garage. I would have made into a guest room and/or an entertaining room opening it up to the little back yard with French doors. Picture it all painted white, keeping the concrete floors (I would paint them white or gray), and keeping the beams for charm.  It would be ADORABLE!


How cute is this outdoor sink? I would have kept this outside and used it for parties and gardening.  Loved it. Can you see how excited  I am over the simplest thing!

P1000284Believe it or not the kitchen had potential.  In this little tiny house, it was actually larger than any kitchen we looked at.  There was a built in banquette seat in the corner going outside and the cabinets while old, I would initially paint and redo the counters and when I had extra money, gut the kitchen to look like my inspiration above.


What’s not to love about this  lemon tree in the backyard.

P1000244Here is another house I looked at.  The photo below is the front of the house, which I would have changed by adding French doors with side panels and getting ride of those windows above.   This house was so tiny but the best feature about this house was the view from the kitchen. This was the only one that I looked at in St. Helena.  The location was amazing.  Central to downtown.

P1000067 This is the view from the kitchen.  This was taken in January so there were no leaves on the grape vines – can you imagine this view in the summer or during crush.

P1000059 P1000061

Here is one more that I loved in walking distance to down town.


My color inspiration.  The yellow and blue.  The blue would be a little softer.



I can’t get enough of Napa.  I love it.   I have finally narrowed down my areas, neighborhoods and where I want to be.  I fell in love with a house a few weeks ago and would have put an offer in on the spot but I need a few more months unless I hit lotto.   It kills me because I’ve missed some amazing opportunities however, I have to trust in a higher power that the right house will be there when I’m ready, just as perfect as the ones I have seen.  Until then, I continue to build my inspiration files and long for the day when I can share with you my journey on fixing up a little bungalow in Napa. 

Have a great weekend everyone!


christi @ grey umbrella said...

WOW! How fun and what a great adventure. I think a little bungalow in Napa would be so perfect -- and downtown Napa is adorable. From what I've read, they want it to be more like downtown Sonoma, which I adore!

Looking forward to what you are going to do -- I know it will just be fabulous.

Anonymous said...

I know you will get there and make whatever you buy stunning! I just hope there is a guest bedroom waiting for moi and some Three Sticks!

Anonymous said...

This inspires me to redecorate! Love the kitchens and the clean white feel...you know me. You will have to post the before and after shots...I'm not sure why you're not working for HGTV. The transformation in the beach house speaks for itself ;) Please do a feature on bedrooms and dining rooms next!!!

Peggy and Fritz said...

Rosie you know I will have the perfect guest room for you with plush pillows, nice sheets, your Three Sticks Chard, a nice smelly candle and fresh flowers. xo

Nick said...

You have such amazing taste. Wherever you live, it will be beyond beautiful.

Karen said...

Oh Ann! How fun to be looking at a little 'getaway' place that you will be able to make your own! I love fixer upper cottages/bungalows and the idea for that one garage was inspired. Can't wait to see what you end up with and to watch your progress with this adventure.


Karen said...

Oh Ann,

What fun. I loved your idea for that one garage...inspired! Can't wait to see what you end up with and the charm you install in a wonderful cottage/bungalow getaway.


RealBeauty said...

LOVE the giant blackboard in the kitchen!! Thank you for posting on my blog!!


Christine said...

I haven't been to Napa or surrounding areas yet, i have no excuses. I need to make a trip sometime, seeing how I live in central California, it would be an easy one.


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