Weekend Fun

By Kate Riley September 26, 2011

Hey all, hope you had a great weekend!  I spend it with my good friend and fellow blogger Rhoda visiting from Atlanta playing tour guide and I gave her the whirlwind tour of our region.  Here’s a peek what we’ve been up to for the last few days. 

Any visit to my place begins with a glass of something special in the backyard, time to shake off all of the discomforts of travel and chill, relax, chillax!  

rhoda chillin in cgs yard


I took her on my favorite quick tour of the WC which includes Viansa . . .

rhoda viansa

ivy at viansa


Jacuzzi Winery . . .

jacuzzi doors


and nearby Cornerstone Gardens and Artefact Design & Salvage.

artefact salvage


Artefact is home to the most amazing salvage and global finds in both the showroom and the extensive yard outside. 

driftwood sculptures

giant driftwood balls 2

industrial solar system fixtures

living wall

cornerstone sonoma

lavender at cornerstone


We stopped into a neighboring café where we admired the walls covered in rustic whitewashed wood, and I’m such a fan of that stunning giant wood sculpture.

wall and sculpture

whitewash wood

In fact, I kinda love it.

wood love


We had lunch at the fabulous El Dorado Kitchen and spent the afternoon strolling the Sonoma Plaza.  Back home I coaxed Rhoda into cooking some of her famous chicken and dumplings for me and she fell for my devious plan.

rhoda cooking dumplings

Mmmmmmm mmmmmmm comfort food!

rhodas chicken and dumplings

Rhoda’s homemade recipe is here.


Sunday we both headed to the local Antique Faire to go treasure hunting together.

kate rhoda at antique faire


This was one of my favorite finds, a giant blue rusty wire basket.

kate with basket


Rhoda is just one of those {best kind of} friends that brings out the silly in me.

kate with frame


It was time for serious blog business, so we took a break and headed to the used book section at the local bookstore to dig through some decorating texts and do research for the upcoming Haven Conference.  Did we score some valuable information! 

decorate the doors


So inspiring, I tell you.  We came up with several ideas for workshops to teach.  We decided we are definitely bringing back the cactus/cow/duck combo.  

cactus and ducks


Personally, I think some window treatments deserve a real chance at a comeback.  

kate with decorating book


Poufy knots!  Swags and jabots!

poufy knots


Oooh, a ruffled floral balloon valance! With matching shams!

ruffled balloon valance


Be still my heart, it’s a matching quilted comforter, shams, border, and a swag valance with a matching oversized rosette!  Salmon pink walls too!  “Crowning the double swag is a fabric rose which repeats the pattern motif to complete the design”.  Awesome.

quilted floral comforter


Anyone interested in a gathered floral lampshade tutorial?

gathered lampshade tutorial

You can always count on me to bring you the most valuable DIY information.

After our extensive research session, we headed back out to the Antique Faire for more browsing, and what a great time we had. Today, we’re off to San Francisco to do some sightseeing, and don’t forget, the big mantel party that kicks off the Fall Link Parties is tomorrow.

Question of the day:  What design trends are we embracing today that you think will become the balloon valances, floral swags, and jabots of the future?  Please discuss.  





  1. Looks like you ladies had a blast. That store with all the nature wood elements and sculpture looks fabulous. I am going to try her recipe on my family…they would love a good bowl of chichen and dumplings.

  2. wow!!! Looks like a fabulous time!!! I love all your finds!!

    and comfort food….YUM:)

    ps…i’m having a little give-away on my blog:) Stop on over if you get a minute!!

  3. Please, I am begging you, sign me up for the painted duck on the door workshop! This is just the kind of thing I was hoping that Haven would offer. ;) (Seriously, I was a little worried there for about half a second)

    You must be the best tour guide ever! Looks like you all had a blast…girl time is the best!

    May I also suggest adding a sponge painting workshop?? Primarily utilizing peach tones?? ;)

  4. Looks like you two had a great time! How cunning of you to get Rhoda to make “Chix and Slicks” as we call them here on the Eastern shore of Maryland. And, how brave of Rhoda to roll out those dumplings whilst wearing black!

  5. Looks like you two are having so much fun! Good plan about the chicken and dumplings :)
    After decorating homes and collecting things over many years, I agree about the stainless steel and granite mentioned above and I also shake my head over the ORB overdose – here’s hoping my world of brass items become in style again! And you know they will! :)

  6. Fun Times! You too are just glowing… :)
    What a beautiful state to show off. One on the top of my must see list. Hope ya’ll enjoy and can’t wait to see ya’ll at Haven 12!

  7. “Keep Calm and Carry On” and similar sign art. Vinyl quote stickers. Wrought iron wall doo-dads. But I think we buy these fun trendy things just to keep things fun…knowing full well they will be in a garage sale before they date us. I just saw balloon shades in House Beautiful a few months ago and they were gorgeous. The designer picked them because they save $$ versus panels and they looked so fresh and new to me! More streamlined and not tissue stuffed in them to puff them up.

  8. Looks like you guys had so much fun. Viansa was one of the wineries my husband and I visited when we went to WC. We liked it so much that we joined their wine club for a year or so. I love the blue wire basket too. Where will it’s home be?

  9. I think back to my Grandma’s house (she was one classy lady!) and she had a gorgeous house. This is circa 89. Fast forward to about 3 years ago, when she was moved into a care assisted home. Not many of her furnishings changed (she was always adding accessories, but the main furniture pieces were the same) and it was all still GORGEOUS!! I strive to acheive that timeless, classic look, that will stand the test of time. I must admit, I too was partial to Omkrets (Ikea’s version of the pouf on a valence), and I would have swooned over balloon curtains in my bedroom. They would have been lovely with my Cindy Lauper and Duran Duran posters. Hmmm, I think it’s time to take some lessons from a classy Granny.

  10. Hi Kate-

    Looks like you two had a great time. It is nice to see real friendships grow out of blogging.

    As for what is going to look dated – all the wallpapered walls and busy prints, fur on furniture, oil rubbed bronze and pouf ottomans. The only thing safe are classic pieces and prints. :)

  11. Oh I think about a good 60% of stuff (chevron, over-sized wallpaper prints, etc) are gonna be design no-nos in the distant future, but for right now, it’s fun! Short of structural, everything can be changed – heck even structural can be changed if you have the $$$$$.

    Okay now on to pressing business……y’all came to SF and didn’t call me? How could you? :) Even worse is that you didn’t save any chicken and dumplings for me! Have an awesome time…..

  12. I sure hope big rusty blue baskets and chunky white frames aren’t like ducks and pig decorations! I’m thinking that real items don’t really go out of style. It’s the cartoon-y things, or dare I say … the obvious DIY things?!

  13. Oh my gosh you are cracking me up. How about a whole Haven workshop featuring the color mauve? Or maybe Decorating with Roosters 101? : ) Glad you and Rhoda are having a ball! xo

  14. How fun to spend some time together! And those are some amazing items at the salvage place, it must be very inspiring to walk through there.

    My husband and I keep wondering if the red washing machines and dryers will be like the avacado green appliances from the 70’s in a few years. Can red go out of style?

    Some people still have those type of curtains in their homes too :-(

  15. I think the chocolate brown and light blue combo will scream 00’s like orange, mustard yellow and avocado green are so 70’s. Wishing I still lived in CA right now so I could go to the Artefact store- looks like an amazing place!

  16. Hahaha….chocolate brown and light blue. My semi-decor-astute husband nixed those colors for our wedding because he knew they would look horrifically out of style in 20 years. I personally hope chevron will go out of style – I haven’t been able to jump on that bandwagon, so I’d rather it just went away.

    “Andrea” up above commented that her granny had timeless style – I hope I can achieve that too! I wish I could see pictures of her house!

  17. I agree that the stainless steel and granite are probably going to make any house feel dated in about 10 years or so. I have the stainless, but my countertops are laminate almost that looks like stone.

    The light blue and brown, yep, another harvest gold or avacodo in the making :)

  18. Fun!!! And as to dated……well…..I still love my Laura Ashley florals and gathered lampshades. I am ok being an anachronism.

    And in response to the previous posters, my parents decorated their bedroom baby blue and chocolate brown in 1972! Platform bed, ultrasuede abstract art coverlet, blocks of color on the walls. I laughed when I saw those back in style because it reminded me of my childhood. That is probably why I “rebelled” and went towards the fluffy florals! Everything cycles.

  19. Oooo, great question. How much room do I have? Painted, distressed everything – especially turquoise painted furniture. Oh, and all of the wordy wall art. What won’t go out of style? Natural elements and classic lines. I’m thinking oriental rugs, sisal rugs, linen, cotton, beautiful wood windows, metals, stone . . . etc.

  20. What a fun time! Love the diy’s… hahaha. Thank God those trends are gone. Does make you wonder what we are embracing today that we’ll feel the same way about later.

  21. Everything becomes retro with time. While I didn’t hang onto my geese accesories from my newlywed days, I can imagine that stuff being sought after by future generations. You never know!

  22. Oh, wow! Artifacts Design & Salvage looks amazing! So many great earthy textures! Looking forward to checking out the recipe and I would LOVE to see all of that 80s decor put into one hilarious board!

  23. Burlap will be gone, along with drop cloth slipcovers. Drum shades and heavily distressed pieces will mark the era. hmmm…… wonder what will become new again? Avacado green maybe….Dark colors were the thing, then we grew tired of dark so now everything is lightened up, wonder when we will grow tired of light colors and return to dark?

  24. Animal print rugs, distressed wood, word art, chalkboard paint, drum shades, chevrons, bead board trim. Chicken and dumplings sounds wonderful!

  25. I’m so glad I found this post! We’ll be out there next month for two weeks so I will definitely check these places out.

  26. Don’t you just LOVE Cornerstone! Sonoma is my hometown and we go to Cornerstone everytime we return! We actually bought these gorgeous rod iron bases for the centerpieces at our wedding at Artefact. I also have an obsession with sitting in the big blue chair!!

  27. Decorating styles that will define this period in history: Live/Laugh/Love stuff, chandeliers in every room, subway signs, chalkboard paint on anything and everything, zebra stripes, and bunting.

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