Laurel Street Blog

Archive for May 2009

It was a wonderful trip. Too much to write today (I have lots of laundry to do!) so I’ll just share with you a few photo highlights!

Amanda from Gloria Ferrer is giving us royal treatment. She was generous with her time telling about each of the sparkling wines & still wines they make.

We started Sunday with VIP vineyards tours in Sonoma and Carneros Valley. Amanda from Gloria Ferrer is giving us royal treatment. She was generous with her time telling about each of the sparkling wines and still wines they make. Left to right: Sean, Amanda, Shawn, Joel and Richard.

And Amanda provided a fantastic spread to go along with our wines. Delish.

And Amanda provided a fantastic spread to go along with our wines. Delish.

A truck safari into the Bouchaine vineyards!

A truck safari into the Bouchaine vineyards!

A terraced vineyard (very rare)

A terraced vineyard (very rare)

Bouchaine aging room

Bouchaine aging room

Shawn sampling a chardonnay that is just coming around

Shawn sampling a chardonnay that is just coming around

My friend who took this picture tagged me on facebook in it. His caption was "Yes, Nathan & Richard, you could eventually drink it all..."

My friend Sean who took this picture tagged me on facebook in it. His caption was "Yes, Richard & Nathan, you could eventually drink it all..." (Ha Ha Sean!) Actually, this was a real highlight of Bouchaine. Our host opened up at least seven different barrels to let us sample all the wines as they were maturing, explaining the nuances of each. Not your typical visit to a vineyard at all.

View from the Iron Horse Vineyard - I was really captured by this landscape...

View from the Iron Horse Vineyard - I was really captured by this landscape...

One more beautiful view from Iron Horse Vineyard

One more beautiful view from Iron Horse Vineyard

Perfect sparkling wines from Iron Horse. Richard bought a magnum for us to enjoy at Gary Danko. Iron Horse was a totally fun stop - it's hilltop location is the perfect place to watch the sun set.

Perfect sparkling wines from Iron Horse. Richard bought a magnum for us to enjoy at Gary Danko. Iron Horse was a totally fun stop - it's hilltop location is the perfect place to watch the sun set. Left to right: Joel, Richard, (Me), Shawn and Sean.

Memorial Day Picnic at Delores Park. What a perfect weather on this side of the hill... and fun crowds abound.

Memorial Day picnic at Delores Park. What a perfect weather on this side of the hill... and fun crowds abound. A perfect excuse to relax and try out some of the wine we bought the day before!

Sean created a delicious charcuterie plate for us to take to the park. Look at this spread. The man knows what he is doing when it comes to food and wine!

Sean created a delicious charcuterie plate for us to take to the park. Look at this spread. This man knows what he is doing when it comes to food and wine!

Joel & Shawn are trying a pinot noir.

Joel & Shawn are trying out a Bouchaine pinot noir.

Serious snacking is going on.

Serious snacking is going on.

IMG_2169

Richard is enjoying the weather, food, wine and friends... and just relaxing. That's what vacations are for, right?

A few Victorian houses that caught my attention as I walked up to Sacramento Street. Very cute trio.

A few Victorian houses that caught my attention as I walked up to Sacramento Street. Very cute trio.

And this little number stopped my in my tracks. Click to enlarge this to see how gold gilt has been incorporated into all the architectural detailing. The gold highlights pair perfectly with this buttercream exterior color. What a gem.

And this little number stopped my in my tracks. It's amazing how gold gilt has been incorporated into all the architectural detailing. The gold highlights pair perfectly with this buttercream exterior color. It may be a little showy - but as the song goes: "If you got it, flaunt it!"

A few more architectural details I fancied...

A few more architectural details I fancied...

P.S. A special thanks to Tartanscot (of Adventures of Tartanscot  Fame), Melissa (from Fancy and Folly) and Amy at Inspiration for Everyday Living.  Your tips for getting out & about on my free day in San Francisco were spot on! Great suggestions – I had so much fun. More on this later!!!

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I love this town – I do. It’s a soul sister to little old New Orleans. I’ve learned the absolutely best way to enjoy wine country (go with a wine buyer!) and we managed our bi-annual wardrobe refresher with the help of some wonderful sales.

Now, I’ve found myself with one whole day to be at loose ends in San Francisco with all too many options. I need to get serious about exploring some new trails tomorrow!

Color Capture Ben Paint Matching Application for iPhone. Photo via the New York Times.

Color Capture Ben Paint Matching Application for iPhone. Photo via the New York Times.

Ha ha – another post “Ripped from the Headlines” of the New York Times home section today. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I am an unabashed fan of the iPhone and this app sounds too cool (and will be FREE)!

The concept is simple and elegant. Take a picture with your iPhone, zoom in on an area of color that you want to match in paint. Click “match” and the application will evaluate your chosen color against the Benjamin Moore color families and find the best matches! Save your favorites in the application for the next time you’re in the paint store. You’ll also be able to see that color’s nearest neighbors, in both lighter and darker shades.

I’m impressed. And I bet that other paint manufacturers will be following suit very soon. Color Capture Ben is being released on June 1st. Read more about the application on NYTimes.com.

Home Apprasial Update:

I probably over-worried the entire home appraisal process. Richard was the one that got me started by saying “I wish we could paint the kitchen before the appraisers come…” which sent me into a weekend marathon of cleaning and clearing and patching and caulking. All of which was a good thing of course – but I was working right through the time I left for work Monday morning. The house looks great – if I can only keep it that way!

We really can’t say if all of my home improvements added to the appraisal (though many were noted) but the house appraised higher than our original purchase price. Given the depressed state of the U.S. real estate market, there was some nagging feelings that we might be in for an unpleasant surprise. To the contrary, we’re very pleased with the results.

Sheesh. I wish I were doing more fun things around the house this weekend but I’m stuck doing detail work. The bank is sending an appraiser as part of our refinancing homework Monday morning.

One job already under my belt for today:  I repaired the 150 year old bathroom doorknob that literally came off in my hand the other night and kept me trapped in there for 20 minutes until I could raise a sufficient rescue alarm. Antique charm, right?

So it goes… a little caulk here, a little paint there. Cleaning out the storage room, whacking back some overzealous ginger plants, sweeping pavers…

But if there was one thing I wish I could have FedExed to the house my 9:30 Monday morning it would be a substantial, historic mailbox. Not that I mind the one we have – it simply amuses me to no end.

A Victorian Specimen - You can't find these at Lowes or Home Depot, dang it.

A Victorian Specimen - You can't find these at Lowes or Home Depot when you are on a deadline, dang it.

What’s funny about a mailbox? Well, it’s A) the wrong type of mailbox, B) it’s incorrectly affixed to the front iron fence by previous owners with rope and C)  then it was incorrectly fixed again with bailing wire!

I know, I know. It's a scandalous state of postal affairs. But it just tickles me. Except when it has rained.

I know, I know. It's a scandalous state of postal affairs. But it just tickles me. Except when I find that it has rained.

It’s a typical New Orleans thing to be amused by something like this. And it’s a pretty New Orleans attitude to just let things be. But I have a feeling this thing will be gone by Monday a.m.

That was the headline in my copy of the Times this morning in the Thursday Home Styles section announcing a new online home fashion & accessories shopping destination: One Kings Lane.

There are some beautiful, original finds in here for accessory nuts (like me). Don’t miss it!

One Kings Lane Web site: Exclusive Home Decor Sales

One Kings Lane Web site: Exclusive Home Decor Sales

Great bedding - not on sale yet, but soon!

Great bedding - not on sale yet, but soon!

Fun Melamine trays featuring classic Italian photos from the 1950's - sold for $15.00!

Fun Melamine trays featuring classic Italian photos from the 1950's - sold for $15.00!

With a parade! In New Orleans, that just means it’s Tuesday.

The World Famous St. Augustine Marching Band - This crew marches hundreds of miles each Mardi Gras season. They are the best!

The World Famous St. Augustine Marching Band - This crew marches hundreds of miles each Mardi Gras season. They are the best!

Just incredible young talent

Just incredible young talent

Go St. Aug!

Go St. Aug!

Mardi Gras Indians!

Mardi Gras Indians!

Here come the Hornets & Cheerleaders

Here come the Hornets & Cheerleaders

Travel does matter to New Orleans. Very much, indeed.

Travel does matter to New Orleans. Very much, indeed.

Friendly chefs from Dickie Brennan's Palace Cafe!

Friendly chefs from Dickie Brennan's Palace Cafe!

A wacky distorted shot by swinging my iPhone around too fast. Cool though!

A wacky distorted shot by swinging my iPhone around too fast. A happy photographic accident!

Dear Mom,

I just wanted to say thank you.  Thank you for reading to me all those mornings on our screened porch when I was too young to go off to school with the other boys. That gave me a life long love of literature. Thank you for trying to teach me to garden and cook – even though I think I showed little aptitude or interest at the time. Your efforts eventually did pay off!

Thank you for giving your true gifts of art and music. These things have forever shaped my life. Thank you for your patience and your faith. Thank you for the shelter you have provided me through many storms, both literal and figurative. And thank you for the innumerable other graces you have given our entire family. I love you so. Happy Mothers Day!

Love,

Scottie

That's a good looking gumbo.

Hey Mom, that gumbo smells great!

A whole collection of Williams Moms: Carla, Gloria & Tiana

A whole collection of Williams Moms: Carla, Gloria & Tiana. Happy Mother's Day to all!


Laurel Street Blog

Nate and Louis

Well, hey there. I'm Nathan and this is the Laurel Street Blog. It's a place for talking about design, decor and DIY (with small amounts of snarkery snuck in). I'm a pretty restless guy who loves house projects and lives in a 150+ year old cottage on Laurel Street in New Orleans. Since the house always has something going on with it (or falling off of it) I'm subsequently blessed with a never-ending supply of Web content to share. Oh - and you can drop me a line anytime LaurelStreetNola@gmail.com. Enjoy!

Can I get a tweet up in here? Follow along @LaurelStreet

The Laurel Street Cottage

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