Posts about 'interiors & exteriors'

the carneros inn, napa, california

the carneros inn is set up like a pseudo-planned, stepford-type community. think the subdivision on showtime’s meadowlands, combined with a little bit of wisteria lane. it felt a bit strange.


don’t let that stop you from staying here, though.


situated in the midst of expansive farmland in the carneros district, charming wood-sided one bedroom cottages dot the landscape, built in tight clusters, named after prominent families in the area. the grounds are quite lovely, with an apple orchard and mature swaths of abundant lavender and rosemary plants. there’s a “town hall” for meetings, gourmet grocery store, spa, fitness center and three restaurants, all contained within the property.


we walked into the lofty, rustic-chic registration building, surrounded by beautiful landscaping, and were impressed with tons of natural light, high ceilings,and a light white color scheme. off the room where you check in is a living room of sorts, with comfy leather seating, books, dvds and a great view of the vast acreage beyond the property.


we checked in and were told we had the larsen 4 room. apparently, it was the “model” room when the inn first opened 4 years ago. i was immediately put on red alert, and prepared myself for disappointment. if i’m paying out the nose for what is supposed to be a “five star” experience, don’t think you are going to thrill me by dangling a “jacuzzi tub” in front of my face.

fortunately, it didn’t turn out that way.


larsen 4 sits at the far end of it’s cluster, so it only had one neighbor, and then the farmlands on the other side. to get to it (and all the other cottages) you walk along a crushed limestone path landscaped with rustic metal fountains, lantana, crocosmia, hydrangeas and other gorgeous blooming plants and flowers.


our room was very stylish and comfortable: dark hardwood floors contrasted with a light yellow and white color palette. big king bed with triple sheeting and down comforter and pillows. substantial trim and moldings around the windows and doors. wi-fi access and ethernet card at the writing desk.



more luxuries: wall mounted flat panel tv, wet bar and a filled ice bucket. ceiling fan, fireplace and a gorgeous wall of double doors that open to a completely private wooden deck, outfitted with two lounge chairs and table for four with umbrella.


not too shabby.


the bathroom had a double marble vanity, fantastic natural light, a humongous mirror, with a separate toilet room, ceramic tile everywhere, a deep kohler tub and separate glass-walled double shower with two wall mounted heads, body spray bar and handheld. at the back of the shower area was another door to the deck, where an outdoor shower was waiting.



we came with friends who brought their two year old, and we did see several other families with kids, but despite this the place was really quiet. they have recently built a children’s pool that features a 18 inch deep wading area. very cute.

we encountered issues with parking on the weekend, with spaces in our cluster being filled with the cars of the people who were not overnight guests. there are no sidewalks to use so we had to walk on the streets, and negotiate around landscapers, construction trucks, staff on golf carts and other guests who were leaving the property by car, while all the new timeshare cottages are being built.

hopefully once the building ends, it will be an experience worthy of the top ratings is so strives to achieve. in the meantime, enjoy an indulgent, special escape from the mundane workday grind. we certainly did.


for more information and to reserve a room at the carneros inn, click here.

the hala ranch is hella expensive

ed. note: as of november 27th, 2007, this home has been taken off the market, despite “tremendous interest.”

step off, donald trump. hala ranch is officially the most expensive property in the united states, at a price tag of $135M.


it has a 56,000 square foot main house (larger than the white house) and numerous secondary buildings, and sits on 95 acres of pristine forest just northwest of aspen, colorado. the property belongs to the family of prince bandar bin sultan, the former ambassador to the us from saudi arabia.


the home, designed by hagman yaw, has a heavy emphasis on natural materials, such as mahogany and stone.


the enormous great room features handcrafted stained glass, custom hand-cast solid bronze hardware and a wood-burning fireplace. a staff of 16 keeps this room, professional kitchen, master wing with private beauty and barber room, the courtyard with reflecting pool and waterfall, dedicated wastewater treatment plant, gas station, car wash, indoor pool, steam room, racquetball court, tennis court, sculpture garden, haybarn, stable and the other 14 bedrooms and 27 bathrooms, in fine working order.


did i mention the stunning wraparound views of the rocky mountains?


of the 1,000 or so showing requests the listing agent has received, only 11 have been granted, as you must be a billionaire to take a tour.

i wouldn’t want to clean it.

contact the listing agent here.

east beach cafe by thomas heatherwick

behold, the 60 seat east beach cafe on the south coast of england in littlehampton!


designed by the boldly adroit thomas heatherwick of heatherwick studio, the simultaneously industrial and organic building has a slender footprint, and is sliced into sculptural steel “ribbons,” which wrap up and over itself.


the gorgeous views are showcased in the front of the building through glass doors and windows, which open to the sea.


the building’s shell is finished with an oil-based coating that allows a patina to come through, while still protecting its structural purpose.


peruse the menu and make reservations here.

via designspotter

evensong spa’s indoor labyrinth

oz_dead_man_talkinghbo’s highly esteemed drama series, oz, had already jumped the shark when the staff of the prison had the labyrinth installed, but it still was cool. i don’t care what anyone says, i liked the musical episode! oh, how i miss the brutally sociopathic characters, the razor-edged writing and the urgently delicious, need-to-take-a-bath feeling after watching each hair-raising episode. good times.

i’m pretty sure that the fictional prisoners on the program could never quiet their minds as deeply as the guests at the evensong spa, in green lake, wisconsin, can.


evensong is set on 38 heavily wooded acres, and is housed in a building that pays homage to favorite midwestern son, frank lloyd wright: roof overhangs, horizontal lines, clerestory windows, et. al.

while playing within the 15,000 square foot building, you’re bound to discover their indoor labyrinth.


walking the labyrinth represents making a spiritual journey, and is a powerful tool for transformation.

evensong_spa_loungethis contemplative meandering, combined with a few choice body treatments, makes it nearly impossible not to become enveloped in an cloud of relaxation. here, i don’t think you’ll find honking horns, rude people flipping the bird, traffic-halting construction projects, missed trains, long lines, stinking exhaust fumes, or any of the other fundamental urban elements that make city dwelling a occasional burden. even if you did, for sake of argument, would you even care, if you were taking a botanical body journey to an herbal steam room, followed by a cranberry herbal salt body glow, aromatic hot towel treatment, smoothing clay mask, heated blanket wrap, and an application of natural cranberry shea butter body balm?

i think not.


the spa emphasizes balance and healing for body and mind. peep on their menu and make your rezzies here.

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