True Tuscan Kitchen

During our fall vacation in Italy, my husband and I shopped, ate and spent nights in Milan’s grand Excelsior Hotel Gallia and Venice’s intimate Philippe Starck designed PalazzinaG, then we left for Florence.

When we arrived at the historic Westin Excelsior Hotel, I learned that its roots date back to the year 1251.  By my American standards that’s impressive, but I was almost as fascinated to learn that it was later purchased by Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister in 1833 to be, what I believe was, her private residence.

While in Florence, we spent a special evening with our friends Dawn and Ennio, from California, and another evening with new friends Graziella and Mark, from Malta.  We explored, shopped, socialized and ate our way through the capitol city of Tuscany.

On our fourth night in Florence, my husband and I took a cooking class in an ancient farmhouse, located in the Tuscan hills outside the city.  The 1000 year old palace sized farmhouse had been sold and divided into 5 spacious historic apartments during the 1980s.  Today, the apartments are owned and run co-op style.  Chef Sandra, our teacher, is the owner of the beautiful apartment in which we cooked.

The kitchen’s bones, built in the 1700s, are relatively young compared to the rest of the house.  Although, the architecture is original, the modern amenities are obviously new.

Tuscan-Chef-Sandra-in Her-Kitchen

Beautiful Sandra Posing For a Picture in Her Kitchen

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True Colour Expert™ Workshop

Happy me!  I am presently in Southern California serving as a graduate assistant to Maria Killam in her Specify Colour With Confidence™️/True Colour Expert™️ workshop.  Not only do I get to review the undertone training from the workshop I attended 4 months ago, but I get to spend time with Maria; Terreeia, her partner, all of the wonderful class participants; my classroom counterpart Jennifer; my blogging partner, Valerie; and I was thrilled and surprised to see my past design partner, Katy, enter the room!


Maria Killam During a Class Project, Valerie (in black and white dress next to Maria)

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Multi Purpose Furniture

When space is at a premium, multipurpose furniture is not only a smart investment, it’s a sanity saver.


Williams-Sonoma’s Mason Glass Top Desk with Polished Nickel Plate Base Is available in two sizes: 62″ x 36′ and 72″ x 36″

William-Sonoma’s Mason Glass Table can serve as a desk, vanity or small dining table.  It’s clean lines and elegant polished nickel plate base would look great in almost any setting.
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Furniture Face Lifts

By Valerie Spelman of theHomeandGardenStylist.com


If you are afraid to paint perfectly good wood furniture, reconsider!  

The following photos illustrate how good quality stained wood furniture can go from boring to beautiful in a matter of hours.

In my work as a decorator, I occasionally cross paths with clients who want light, bright and airy interiors, but they are held back by their drab wood grained furniture and cabinetry.

HeyGirlfriend.Net ~ Painted Antique Grandfather Clock Continue reading