A Piece of Mexico in Lower South Shores

 

When Judi Jones was asked how she knew her home was the one, she said , “I knew it was the one because I knew Dave was the one.” Judy- her & hubbyHer late husband Dave was a widower when they met and he and his deceased wife Pat purchased the three bedroom 2,600 sq. ft. California Monterey Revival in 1981. He had been a probation officer in the 60’s and he fell in love with San Pedro.img_2363

Judy and her husband have traveled the world over, and their eclectic abode is a treasure trove of souvenirs and memories.

The front yard has a lot of beautiful pepper trees creating a lot of shade over the driveway. Large, plush ferns and bright red geraniums also complement the yard.img_2357img_2361

Having to regrettably cut down her husband’s favorite front yard tree after he passed, she placed a statue of a life sized pelican, his favorite bird, on the stump looking out at the ocean in remembrance of him.Judy- pelican

The house was remodeled in 1995 adding a wrap around deck and a small balcony off the kitchen. A large “Louie Newton” wicker chair sitting on the balcony was brought back from India by Judi’s father.Judy Balcony

A console table in the living displays treasured family photos of days gone by.img_2280img_2284

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The picture of the babies is Judi and her twin brother. 

 

There are two identical light fixtures; one in the living room and one in the dining room hanging above the dining table. They were made for them in Rosarito Mexico and transported to San Pedro via her husband’s pickup truck.Judy- Chandeliuer

There are many other items from Mexico including the hand carved dining set in the dining room off the kitchen…

the tiles and sinks in both bathrooms…Judy Bathroom sinkimg_2303and the mirror, bed and large cabinet in her bedroom.img_2301The basket hanging on the side of this beautiful mirror was hand woven and belonged to a tour guide during a trip to Mexico. When Judi expressed interest in it, he gave it to her!

A cherished family heirloom is her Mother’s fully refinished and restored player piano with original music rolls. She recently had it completely tuned up. The two colorfull pictures in this picture are from the Unicef store, here in San Pedro at Crafted at the Port of L.A.img_2287

A lighted curio cabinet to the right of the front entrance to the home, is home to several smaller souvenirs from her life including a matryoshka doll of Gorbachev and other communist leaders that she acquired on an illegal visit to Communist Russia, a face carved out of a root, and a tea set he father gave her as a child.Judi-gorb. dollimg_2336Judy- curio tea set

An impecable needlepoint of the United States showing each state’s national flower hangs near the kitchen. Dave’s Mom and Aunt made it for him in 1942.Judy-flower map

Judy’s favorite story is in regards to this signed photograph of her Aunt Peggy, who was a burlesque dancer in the 1930’s. Peggy lovingly gave it her Aunt Eva, and signed it: “To Aunt Eva, I will always love you, Love Peg, 1930.” Judy and her sister get a laugh out of the fact that Peg thought her Aunt Eva would hang such a provocative photo, especially for the era, on her wall! Judy-AuntA demure painted portrait of Judi as a young girl hangs in the stairwell.img_2308In the cabinet above the sink in the half bath, is the alarm clock that Judi’s Mother used to set for them to get up for school when they were kids.Judy- old clockA bold display of flags depicts Judy and her husband’s world travels.img_2312

The back yard is almost a third of an acre! Dave built a path up the hill, though Judy doesn’t go up there much anymore.img_2348A large fountain now houses succulents and flowers.img_2354

Judy’s beloved dog, Bailey, is the only living memory she has of her husband. They rescued  him as a puppy. He follows her all around the house! She doesn’t look forward to the day when he’s gone, but is reassured to know he will be up in Heaven with Dave. ~S.P.A.img_2353

 

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Mid-Century Modern with a View

IMG_2191.JPGJudy Bodner has lived in her single level, approx. 2,000 sq. ft. mid-century modern home for over 20 years. When she and her husband decided to upgrade from a condominium to a larger house, her husband said to her, “Come on, I want to show you something.” He drove her to the 3 bedroom 2 bath house that he found all on his own, without using a realtor. But it wasn’t the house he wanted her to see-it was the spectacular view! Although she is originally from New York, she and her husband have lived in San Pedro since 1980. Incredibly, Judy had never seen the South side of San Pedro- the side with the ocean! Five years ago, her husband passed away. Judy said, “We’ve always claimed we didn’t buy the house, we bought the view!”

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Mid-century modern homes are not that common in San Pedro. Judy doesn’t know who the architect was that designed the house, but two possible architects could be Quincy Jones and/or Fred Emmons. The two men met when they both worked for the joint venture of Allied Engineers in San Pedro, until they both became active service members in WW2. After the war they shared an 18-year partnership that turned out designs for thousands of Eichler homes, a prestigious developer in Southern California during that time. The following three pictures show the natural wood walls and ceilings.img_2165img_2121img_2118The view is amazing, but house is pretty spectacular also. Floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed beams, slotted wood walls and ceilings, and an open floor plan are all architectural elements of the mid-century modern era. Judy’s house has it all.img_2115The black chest above is a family heirloom that Judi’s in-laws brought back from China for her and her husband. It was natural wood, but Judy had it lacquered in black to match her decor.img_2113It feels like you are outside even when you’ve just entered the house, due to the large window to the right as you come in the front door.img_2177Mid-century modern homes were built to emphasize how people live while melding buildings with their environment, and merging the outside with the inside. As a note, mid-century modern is not actually a style. It’s a collection of designs built from roughly 1940 to 1975.img_2110 Judy says her art deco decorating style doesn’t really match the modern style of the home, but because she kept it streamlined and un-cluttered, it actually works. img_2126Her all time favorite place to shop for contemporary furniture was called Contemporary Center, and many of her pieces came from there. Unfortunately it went out of business, so decorating has been a challenge. img_2128Her favorite place to get accessories is still open though, Art for the Soul in Laguna Beach. She claims when she goes there she doesn’t have to try to search for things, they just pop out at her.img_2119She and her husband put in chic white tile flooring. They also changed out all of the light fixtures, found at Lamps-R-Us, to more modern track lighting. The kitchen has been completely remodeled, with granite used for the counters and the backdrop, something Judy thought was a big risk that paid off.img_2133The range is a Wolf Gourmet model that they received for free by the company in order for them to try it out and give feedback on how well it worked.img_2131The unusually large hood over the stove matches the cabinetry and is a major wood element, keeping with the organic style of the rest of the house. Judy loves to entertain and feels that her artistic talent lies in decorating the table like a work of art when she hosts parties for her guests. She enjoys cooking, and likes to keep it simple and healthy. She loves cooking Italian food, salmon and experimenting with veggies. img_2172The master bath renovation was a collaboration of both Judy and her husband. They picked the tile together along with everything else.img_2158Retro looking pendant lights above the double vanity look amazing, especially with the reflection in the mirror.img_2159Large natural limestone subway tile in the shower gives the space an earthy feel, while the glass doors create openness.img_2157The second bathroom Judy designed all on her own. She remembers it being fun, scary and cool to take it on and get it done without the help of her husband. img_2149Horizontal glass tile in a variety of grays give the guest bath a clean modern look.img_2151Tons of natural light floods in from the skylight above the shower.img_2161Judy has collected many fine art pieces over the years that is displayed throughout her home.img_2146Her most coveted piece, by Erte, hangs in her bedroom so she can see it first thing when she wakes up in the morning.img_2156Her bedroom is the only room in the house that doesn’t have an ocean view. Sometimes she considers making the living room the master in order to be able to see the ocean from her bedroom, but at this point it’s just an idea.img_2108Her sweet little dog Layla makes herself at home on Judy’s bed. A mirrored wall makes the master seem larger and reflects the natural light coming in through the opposing sliding glass doors.img_2153The doors lead out onto a courtyard that leads to the two car detached garage.img_2154Many family memories have been made in Judy’s beautiful modern home. She loves her neighborhood and gets along well with her neighbors. She hopes to have many more happy years in it.img_2192

She is proud to have her home showcased for the White Point Home Tour 2016, especially since she can see the Nature Preserve from her balcony! ~S.P.A.

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Third Time’s a Charm for the Dimson’s

The third time was a charm for Nancy and Phil Dimson when it came to purchasing a home with amazing ocean views on Silvius Avenue ten years ago. They had attempted it twice before, but someone either outbid them, or didn’t have a contingency like they did. But God has a plan, and when they found this tri-level 3 bedroom 3 bath 2,600 sq ft Spanish Colonial beauty for sale, this time the deal went through. Ocean views aside, it seemed to fit their little family well. To Nancy and Phil, it immediately felt like a home they could raise their young twin daughters in.    img_1826Phil, an entrepreneur who owns his own company, is from Orange County and Nancy, a housewife who previously was the VP of HR for a property management company, is from Hermosa Beach. They transplanted here in 1989. Phil was drawn to San Pedro because of his love for windsurfing and kitesurfing. They decided on Silvius Avenue because they were looking for a nicer neighborhood with better schools. Ironically, their girls ended up going to school in PV after kindergarten. Occasionally, Nancy is asked by other Moms what part of PV they live in. When she answers San Pedro, she gets a kick out of their uncomfortable reaction. She thinks San Pedro’s funky eclectic style fits the Dimson’s just fine!img_1805With a great neighborhood comes great neighbors, and since the houses are in close proximity to each other, “For beautiful sunsets, we will all be on our respective balconies facing the ocean, sipping wine and talking,” says Nancy.img_1743From the street side, a quaint black rod iron gate leads into the front yard brick patio, and straight ahead is the  original rounded front door surrounded by inviting potted plants.img_1788On the way is a built in BBQ with colorful Spanish tile, a teak table with an umbrella and some smooth tiled built in benches. img_1787It is the perfect place for some al fresco dining. A lovely “plant wall” as Nancy calls it, with small trees and bright pink bougainvillea provides a bit of privacy. img_1782There is also a small carport to make up for the small one car garage. They use both to park their *ahem* TWO Teslas. One is a sporty and the other is a mini van…

 

img_1786Enter the front door into a small foyer that leads into the cozy living room with a fireplace and large picture windows looking out over the ocean. img_1756To the right is a curved stairwell to the third level, where Phil has his office just off the back yard. img_1803Regarding the ocean view Nancy proclaimed, “When we walk in the front door we are met with an amazing view of the ocean. We never tire of it and we never take it for granted.” img_1747Over the years, Nancy and Phil have done work on the house, inside and out. Their goal was to  update while keeping the integrity of it’s original Spanish Colonial style. img_1741Inside are all new windows and new wide planked pine flooring. img_1754They decorated with furniture from Ethan Allen, Pottery Barn and various other sources. img_1755

 

img_1795The openness of the kitchen looking into the family room is something the they really love. This is where the spend the majority of their time.img_1766 The backyard, with a custom built in bench in the courtyard and new Spanish tile, faces the ocean and is terraced. img_1809img_1815img_1812For the small grassy area they chose artificial grass. Down weathered planked steps is a private jacuzzi and a vegetable garden, rounding out the awesomeness of the Dimson’s third time’s a charm! IMG_1829.jpg

“The advantage of a hillside house is the great view, which makes the house seem bigger.” ~Nancyimg_1828

 

 

A “Rosy Scenario”-Pedro’s Hidden Gem

 

If you are a lover and frequenter of garage sales, estate sales, rummage sales or thrift shops in San Pedro, then it’s very likely you have crossed paths with Rose, out looking for interesting things to sell in her shop, Rosy Scenario. Rosy Scenario is her small vintage and collectibles shop, tucked away at the far end of the Brown Bros. Building on 6th St. downtown, Suite 106. (It’s the building with the tunnel that takes you from 6th St. to the metered parking lot on 7th st.)

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Though she has owned her business for 2 1/2 years, I stumbled upon this “hidden gem” about a year ago, while on my way to the Warner Grand Theater. It caught my eye right away, and when I peaked in and saw Rose at the helm, I was so excited. Last I knew she had a consignment spot in a local shop that went out of business.

I met Rose when I worked my very first job at Alva’s Dance Wear when I was 14 (and I’m in my mid 40’s now, so…). She was the manager and even though she was a grown woman and I was a  teenager, we became fast friends. She even gave me a nick-name: Panda. (As in Andy Panda).

A vibrant and unique soul, Rose has a knack for telling stories and making up cool words. And somehow she doesn’t seem to age…

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With a superb eye when it comes to finding treasures, she seeks out items that exude quality, value, charm, and even  humor as seen by the tile that says “Shalom Ya’ll” (pictured above).

Rose doesn’t drive a car, so she transports her finds in the basket of her bicycle. Her friend Greg, or “My Greg”as she calls him, brings over the larger pieces for her like the natural wood coffee table currently being used to display some of her cool things.

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As I was looking around, I noticed a lot of great children’s accessories, like children’s picture books, nicely framed Winnie the Pooh pictures, an old elephant toy, a handmade wooden truck, a Paddington Bear figurine. I suddenly had the urge to decorate a nursery!  And by the time you read this, Rose will have a cool little wooden wagon for sale that she said she was getting ready to bring in. Perfect!*

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When asked what message she wanted to get out to people about her shop, after a short moment of contemplation, Rose said,”My prices! I have great prices. I’d like to let people know that I sell vintage store items at thrift store prices.”

And it’s true! I picked up a wooden plant stand, a business card holder, and a small wooden clipper ship hand carved out of sirocco wood (a special wood from Syracuse, NY made from sawdust mixed with wood and made in a mold.) I also got a set of little vintage pamphlets, two china bowls and a frame to hang them on- all for less than $40.00!

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Rose said when people say that her prices are too low as they are making their purchase, she asks them, “Well, would you like to pay more?” They inevitably say no.

RosyknomesI also loved these little garden gnomes…so cute, right? As I was standing by her desk, Rose asked me if I noticed these “Nunnies”(below), as she called them. She said she loved the middle one with her “Strike two!” fingers and her serious little face and stance, while the others were just simply having fun! I love them!

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A card reader and astrologist named Carla found a home at Rosy Scenario after moving around a bit on 6th St., and for $5.00 a few days a week will tell you your future and what’s in the stars for you. Just look for the “Reader is In” sign at the front door.

She fits right in and even holds down the fort for Rose when she runs down the street to Tick Tocker Thrift to see what’s new there.

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When I first walked in Rose was gone and Carla was selling a purse to a lady I recognized from my old church, Grandview United Methodist. She purchased the purse and was on her way. When Rose came back (from Tick Tocker with a blue glass fish), and Carla told her that the lady bought a white purse, Rose said it was funny because she had just used that purse the other night when she went to Garrison Keiller. She considered keeping it but decided not to so she brought it back. It was purchased the very next day!

While I was (still) there, a homeless looking gent passed by and went on about how much he  liked the shirt on display at the front door. Rose said for him to come on in and that she had lots more. Then a short older lady stood at the front door, and as she looked around with big eyes, she just said, “WOW!” She left, but she’ll be back.

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And so will I, because the longer I was there, the more I wanted- a ceramic vase, a vintage picture of a beautiful lady that Rose affectionately named “instant ancestor,” and a garden figurine of a horse (to go with my pig and my ducks), just to name a few!

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If you’d like to check out “Pedro’s Hidden Gem”, Rosy Scenario, for yourself, the hours are Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, 12pm- 5pm, & Fridays 10am- 5pm. The address is 461 W. 6th St., Suite 106. Tell Rose Andi sent you!

*If anybody wants a nursery decorated, let me know! 😉

 

Harbor View Haven

In 2004, Bob and Valen Caseres-Watson and their daughter Mimi acquired Bob’s family home, a fixer upper, on 18th Street just up the street from 22nd St. Park and Crafted at the Port of L.A. Bob lived there as a teenager during his junior high and high school years.

Scan Bob’s mother had been renting it out for a number of years. When the previous tenants resentfully moved out, they spitefully left trash and junk inside as well as out.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERABob and Valen, proponents of small living, were determined to keep the original footprint. They tore it down to the foundation, with plans to reconfigure the floor plan. The original oak wood floors in the front two bedrooms are the only thing left of the original house!

The new facade on the front of the house includes a rounded entryway, and a semi-private porch. New front windows along with the arches give the house a vintage look, while a dark gray paint, a red door and trim and water resistant foliage modernize it.

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Earthy slate tiles were used for the porch and porch stairs. A large leafy tree adds some privacy to sit in the vintage metal chairs and enjoy the view from the porch.

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A wrought iron sea horse knocker sits below a peek-a-boo window that tells the family who’s at the door!

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A “deck-ette”as they like to call it, was added off the new master bedroom at the back of the house. French doors with full length windows on either side provide lots of natural light inside the large room.

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Tearing down walls and designing a new open floor plan for the living, dining and kitchen areas, they hired an architect to help them out. The exposed beams on the vaulted ceilings were a happy mistake. When Valen saw them she immediately asked the architect to keep them showing!

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A unique feature, the cobble stone “mat” just inside the front door was made by Valen.

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When you walk into the house you are introduced to a small seating area with a cute green bookcase. An black coffee table over an orange and white morrocan style rug separates a cushioned love seat with boho patterned pillows, and a cool gray upholstered chair.

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Valen is a freelance writer, published author and an interior designer to name a few of her many talents. Her decorating style leans towards Mid-Century Modern design, but having mixed in some old European pieces, she successfully mixes the old with the new.

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A cool pendant light hangs above a farm style wood table and antique chairs.

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Behind the “buffet” counter, above which hangs three cork lights, is the stylish kitchen. The kitchen cupboards, designed and built by Bob, a corporate exec of a furniture manufacturing company in Los Angeles, are made of wood from a mill in Oregon that doesn’t use formaldehyde. Bob built all the of cabinetry in the home, including the bathrooms.

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Upper glass cupboards make the kitchen look larger, and display their lovely dishes. Colorful hanging tea cups stand out in front of a modern glass tile backsplash, juxtaposed by farmhouse style cupboards. The black maple leaf pulls are a nod to Valen’s Canadian roots.

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Forbo, a type of cork and linseed oil flooring that originated at the turn of the last century and has made a design comeback because of its durability, pliability, and natural antimicrobial properties, was used for flooring in the kitchen and the guest bath. A bold red was used for the kitchen and a navy blue compliments the bathroom.

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Mango orange paint on the wall behind the stainless steel stove is where she hung a Mid-Century clock with a back story. The clock is a remake of a featured product made by Bob’s company, Peter Pepper Products, Inc. Originally made and sold in the 1960s, it was remanufactured to celebrate the company’s 60th anniversary and only a limited number were made as gifts.

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On the wall separating the kitchen from the hallway and front bedrooms, Valen created a nature inspired art piece. Using white spackling paste, she painted a textured tree with a slight 3-D effect and a bird flying towards it as if coming home. You can also find the sweet little bird motif on the wall above the window as you walk in the door.

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To the left of the dividing wall are frosted glass sliding doors closing off the front bedrooms. A hip, updated version of the regular pocket doors the house originally had. An adjustable light fixture lights the way down the hall.

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Valen seamlessly used affordable decorative pieces from Ikea, Target and Home Goods with high end splurges to create a bohemian look with a zen feel. High quality wooden shutters throughout the home add sophistication.

Keeping a “green” mind-set, Bob and Valen took care to use earth friendly products whenever possible. They thoughtfully chose sustainable dark wood floors, energy efficient appliances a tankless water heater, to name a few. Natural light enters through two small east facing windows, saving on electricity.

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The soft mocha wall color plays well with the oil painting of a young girl and a tall bamboo lamp next to the of-white faux suede couch.

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Valen explained that although their home took a while to complete, it was done with time and patience. They bought only the best, which took longer due to their budget. Over a span of three years plus, she feels the completion of the house happened “organically”. They both agree they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Their home was recently opened up to the public for the White Point Nature Preserve Home Tour on Sunday September 13, 2015.

 

 

Impromtu Thanksgiving

 

Yesterday morning I went on Facebook while I drank my tea and I came across a post from one of my favorite blogs, The Inspired Room (www.theinspiredroom.net). I clicked on it, and read her post showcasing how she decorated her home for Christmas. Her simple yet elegant style motivated me to want to share how my home was decorated for Fall. After all, it is my favorite time of year to decorate!

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I wasn’t planning on decorating my kitchen table but I got a little carried away, and next thing I knew it was set for dinner, the day before Thanksgiving. The only problem with that is I wasn’t planning on having Thanksgiving at my house this year!

But since my husband is celebrating with his Mom, and my daughter and I are going to be celebrating with my brother and sister-in-law and her family, I figured we could have an impromptu family dinner here at home the night before Thanksgiving. After all, I couldn’t let this fancy table go to waste, especially after i pulled out the vintage sterling silverware my mother-in-law gave me earlier this year! See for yourself!

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I planned a full meal, including Stuffed chicken breasts, pecan crusted sweet potatoes, roasted garlic mashed cauliflower, and grain free stuffing. Oh, and I can’t forget the homemade cranberry sauce! (All my recipes came from a post I saved from the Hormone Balance Facebook page, siting A Collection of Gluten-Free and Paleo-Friendly THANKSGIVING Recipes Everyone Will Love. (www.hormonebalance.com) Pics are from there also because I was too busy cooking to take any! And I could NOT have pulled off all that cooking without the help of my twenty year old daughter, Sierra! But before we started cooking, my hubby Ryan whipped out his famous pumpkin dessert…:)

At the last minute, since there were four place settings and three of us, my husband and I decided to invite my mother-in-law, Judi to join us in this unexpected feast!

Of course if I spruced up my table I had to make the rest of the house look nice. Here is a glimpse of the rest of the kitchen and the living room:

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I’m sure you noticed Abner, our kitten. He is all over the place!

Before I let you go, I just want to show you a full view of the kitchen table. This is the first year the bay window is French Blue- it used to be orange! And lastly, a couple more close ups of the place settings because I thought they came out so pretty!

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I hope you enjoyed this, but most of all I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for my family, friends, our health, happiness and a beautifully decorated home!

Cape Cod

Andy and Caroline Kircher were drawn to the mysteriousness of the Cape Cod styled property on Patton Avenue in San Pedro, Ca. So when it was for up for sale in October of 2004, they knew they wanted it.

This adorable home, with it’s large brick fireplace and shady pepper trees, looks like a storybook cottage you would see on the East Coast, on a cliff near the ocean. Built in 1926, the 3 bedroom 2 bath home has tons of original character.

Once they pruned large pepper trees, tamed the existing foliage and added low maintenance plants like lavender, Mexican sage and white alyssum, the focus then went to updating some things on the inside of the house.

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Inside, white walls and dark wood floors set the stage for a relaxed, lived in style. Massive amounts of sunlight shines through the homes original small paned casement windows. A lived in, casual beach theme emanates throughout and fits with their lifestyle. The boys swim and surf and Caroline scavenges along the beaches for sea glass, driftwood and other treasures along the coast of San Pedro to make her art. (More on that later.)IMG_9459 Caroline wishes the dining room was a little roomier, but she takes full advantage of the small space. A beautiful glass chandelier mimics the ocean and plays into the shabby blue dining table. She scored the two mis-matched bamboo chairs for free. A beautiful family heirloom hutch anchors the space, exhibiting colorful tiles and family photos. On the  floating shelf  is a small white whale, a folk art piece made by Caroline. The windows and glass door leading to a brick patio give the illusion of more room.

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An artist with an MFA in Fine Arts,  Caroline is fortunate to work in her home studio. She has an Etsy shop, Made By CBK (https://www.etsy.com/shop/MadeByCBKref=search_shop_redirect) where she sells what she calls, “whimsical, handcrafted, ocean inspired folk art made of driftwood and other materials found on my beach combing adventures.” She also works as a freelance artist.

Her favorite room in the house, Caroline’s studio is has a lot of natural wood and is impressively organized. Plastic tubs hold her paint brushes and other necessary tools. Tons of natural light plays off the light gray walls to create an inviting work environment. The large colorful painting of three girls on the beach that hangs above her desk is one of Caroline’s original paintings. Outside the studio window colorful buoys are an inspiration.

The remodeled kitchen is a rendition of a galley style kitchen. Classic white subway tiles on both sides of the walls of the galley make it  feel larger and wider. Open wood shelves with decorative cast iron supports, on both sides of the sink, leave Starbucks coffee mugs, glasses and everyday dishes at the ready. Above the sink two windows left curtain-less grants a clear view to the tree filled backyard.

Across from the sink a six burner stove is built right into the counters. Above it is a handy “pot filler faucet” protruding from the center of a blue and brown tiled mosaic. Durable cement countertops seal the deal.

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At the west end of the kitchen through a wide archway a sunny, windowed breakfast nook with striped green and blue pillows on a cushioned window seat is where the boys eat their Mom’s yummy Belgium waffles. At the east end is the laundry area and a door leading to the plush back yard.

The Bircher’s home could be in House Beautiful or Country Living Magazines, it has so much charm.  It is stylish and livable at the same time. The love they have for it is obvious, and they feel very fortunate to be able to raise their two growing boys in th