San Diego Magazine Feature

Shelley Metcalf's Photo of our Home and Vineyard Last fall at harvest time, our gifted architect, Bill Bocken  brought his partner, Paul Adams, a talented San Diego landscape designer, and his amazing photographer, Shelley Metcalf to photograph our home for the first time since the completion of our home remodel.

San Diego Magazine took notice and features Metcalf's photos, article written by Kimberly Cunningham in their January 2014 San Diego Magazine feature "Design: Living" article Accidental Winemakers.

This article features many indoor and outdoor photos depicting our home, property, and lifestyle. Cunningham cleverly added the feature "Get The Look" for resources and details that brought our design and style together.

Shelley Metcalf in Action

I wrote extensively on our remodel progress as it was literally unfolding in a quick ten months. For more reading on our remodel, please go to Remodel Project.

What a great way to start 2014!

Welcome Home!

Morning Sun On Front Of Our Home It was about this time last fall, give or take a month or two when my husband, John, and I embarked on our remodel project. Fast forward one year, a zillion decisions, a few surprises, ample changes, some upgrades, and our home remodel project is finished. I should say the construction is finished. There is still window treatments, landscaping, and more fun projects.

If you  recall, we remodeled our 1930's Spanish style 1,600 square foot home pushing out in two directions gingerly hugging around our mammoth Italian Stone Pine tree. We added approximately 1,000 square feet to our original home, with "night and day" improvement in livability, function, beauty, and views to our garden and horizon. Additionally, we built a new construction 20' x 40' two story barn. A simple gravel courtyard connects our home and barn. As seen in the above photo, we have a guest auto court and pedestrian gate to enter our courtyard.

John and I kept our basic Spanish-style home, upgrading materials and transitioning from a brown tile roof and beige stucco home,  to a traditional red tile roof, white stucco beauty. I was looking for a warm brown for an accent color for barn doors, barn shutters, and front gate and ironically stumbled across the color, "Wild Raisin" with a bit of wine color and life to it. Wild Raisin could easily become a name for one of our future wines out of our Domaine de Manion syrah vineyard.

Inside our home, the color theme is white "Cielo Blanco" walls with warm gray trim, accented by flat black lighting, railings, and door handles. Our floors are either hard wood or concrete terra cotta tile.

New Kitchen Location and Look

John and I appreciate immensely, all of the people and their talents who worked on our home remodel project. It was a real team effort, and a coming together of many, many people. We especially want to thank our architect Bill Bocken, William Bocken, Architecture Interior Design, (tel) (619) 260-1162 for his vision, and ability to be "right on" all the time when it comes to design, style, function, and color. We would be remiss if we didn't mention our savvy and energetic contractor, Robert McCarron, Robert McCarron Construction, (tel) (619) 726-6517, who orchestrated this entire project.

Our Grand Room From The Kitchen

Other Key Components: Jim Gibson, Gibson and Gibson Antique Lighting. Custom Lighting. Vintage Timberworks, Vintage Timberworks. Recycled Wood & Flooring. Gary Henschel, Fixtures For Living. Appliances & Plumbing. Vintage Tub & Bath, Vintage Tub & Bath. Sinks. Ay's Designs in Iron, Ay's Designs In Iron. Custom Railing.

Please share if you have recently been through a home remodel. Please comment on your home remodel experience.

Bird's Nest Omen

Bird's Nest Omen Quite by chance, on a general "clean up mission" in my front yard, one of the last strongholds of our remodel process, I happened upon an abandoned, cleverly engineered bird's nest. I intuitively knew this nest had served its purpose well. I sensed right away the symbolism it represented. It was an immediate "deja vu" and an incredibly great omen, as we finish up our home remodel and make plans to move in.

Ten years ago, just weeks away from moving into our present home (we are currently remodeling), I was jogging in our quaint village, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and found this rather large intricate bird's nest near the road. Strong winds must have sent it sailing from its anchored spot in near by eucalyptus trees. My husband John, and I were soon moving into our new home, but 1930's vintage.

This property had been neglected and needed a lot of tender loving care. We knew this property was special, but could we really transform it. I took that new-found bird nest home and placed it in a nurturing spot above our fireplace hearth. I still have it, and cherish it to this day.

Fast forward ten years, and I'm no longer jogging,  but enjoying swimming, walking, and sweep rowing instead.  My husband and I created  soothing gardens, a potager, an orchard, and backyard vineyard. It was time to turn our attention to our home, hence, our ensuing remodel this past year. In actuality, it has been many years in the planning and decision-making to make this dream come true. Now, we are closing in on the last week of our ten-month remodel. Once again, I find an incredible bird's nest, "out of the blue." It is a great omen, for our remodel, and our lives moving forward.

This beautiful bird's nest is an engineering feat. It has twigs, leaves, cotton-like puffs, and even snail shells, woven meticulously together with tender loving maternal care. It is strong, yet delicate. It speaks to me as a symbol of many things. The birds and wildlife are so much a part of our life here. This beautiful bird's nest  is a "welcome home" message, a new chapter in our lives, and symbolic meaning of "home is where the heart is."  I couldn't have asked for a better gift at this time, than this beautiful bird's nest omen.

Please share if you have had an experience like an omen that is so grand, it thumps you on the head. Please comment on the bird's nests you have found.

Turning The Corner...

Displaying  Stucco Color Samples If you have ever been through a home remodel, you may well know the pace picks up in a "fast and furious" way as the remodel end is in sight. Important decisions come faster. The layers of remodel continue to build on top of one another in a logical and methodical way. In the above photo, my husband John, and I, are "turning the corner" on our remodel, selecting our stucco color for our home, barn, and courtyard. We know we are on the home stretch towards completion and move-in day.

We eventually choose the bottom sample stucco color (after much "hemming and hawing") and are very happy with it. Now the tile roof can be laid. Our long ipe outside deck can begin. Our courtyard and sides can be graded. The list goes on.

Like an orchestra, whose pieces or ensemble sections make a whole. The conductor is our contractor, Robert McCarron. He keeps the time and rhythm of his different subcontractors in sync, and in seemingly effortlessly direction towards the grand finale. We have onsite paint contractors, stone contractors, concrete contractors, garage door contractors, tile contractors, plumbing contractor, and more. On a recent morning I counted fifteen cars and trucks parked on our easement and with permission, spilling over to my neighbor's drive way.

Our hands-on architect, Bill Bocken, William Bocken Architecture Interior Design, is never too far away from this gregarious ensemble, too. He has made sure we are in perfect pitch throughout this whole process. As homeowners we are there everyday involved with decisions, information, and our added two cents.

After eight months of this incredible transformation process, we are turning the corner, and coming down the home stretch of our remodel. Please comment on your own remodel experience.

VintageGardenGal Tidbit Thyme...

My good friend, Julie Mautner, from "The Provence Post" has written recently about Provence at the Chelsea Flower Show this year, Provence Prevails at Chelsea. It's fabulous.

Sun Sets On "Le Vin de Garage"

Sun Sets On "Le Vin de Garage" Sometimes the hardest part of a home remodel, is letting go of the old. Soon, it will be out with the old, and in with the new. It really is not that cut and dry. We have carefully thought this through, and tipped the scale in favor of our new barn.

In the above photo, is our revered garage named  "Le Vin de Garage," where until recently we made and stored our Domaine de Manion vintages. My husband, John, cleverly tweaked a photo of our "Le Vin de Garage" for our first label. It placed "Fourth Place" in "wine label category" at the San Diego County Fair a few years ago.

John got the "garage idea," one night, when we were watching the movie, A Good Year (Full-Screen Edition), based in Provence, directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Russell Crowe in one of his only comedy roles. Based on the book, A Good Year, one of the many books written by Peter Mayle, the endearing plot revolves around a tasty mysterious boutique cult wine. These tasty cult wines called "garage wines" as mentioned in the movie, were from small vineyards, small productions, and often commanding super premium prices.

Our home was originally built in 1930, and we believe this stand alone garage was built a little later in the 1960's. It has to be close to 50 years old. A previous unknown owner took the time to enhance its character, with whales, waves, and crossed oars. If only our "Le Vin de Garage" could tell us some of its colorful stories of the past.

Alas, our garage has served us well over the last ten years, and it is sad to see it go. It does have termite damage from past neglect. When we have a heavy rain it does leak a bit. Now with our remodel plans, it is not in the best location.

Actually our "Le Vin de Garage," is not totally going away. We've decided to re-purpose its best materials in the form of a shed, close to our vineyard. In a way, it will live on, and continue to help us with our vineyard maintenance and vintages.

Our new barn is nearly finished. It has our new wine-making room on its ground floor, with a work counter for testing the wines, storage area for our equipment, and a harvest table. We really have come a long way, from the day we got the idea to plant a vineyard.

Please share if you make home-made wine? Please share how you got started making wine. Please comment on what kind of area or space you devote to making wine.

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