The Many Lives of the Master Bedroom Closet

This master closet has had a few incarnations over the past 4 years. It was initially 2 dark closets with built in drawers. I can’t find a picture of the built ins, but you can get an idea of how dark the closets were. The hole in the wall was for a giant tube TV. No flat screens back then!


We initially had the built ins removed, cedar flooring added197

and new built ins installed.


Notice the mismatched paneling. That was a replacement piece and no matter what our contractor tried he could not match it up to the old. It was dark, discolored, faded and had lots of holes. These built ins were just -ok. The drawers were too small for my tastes and there was not enough space for all my shoes.

I hated those mirrored doors with a passion. So I covered them up with a bit of wallpaper glue and grasscloth.


That was short lived because in hot weather, the grasscloth would fall down!

So after 4 years I give you the last version of the master bedroom closets. The cupboards were custom built and I call it our “Wall ‘o’ Drawers”.


We chose birch wood and they were sealed/stained with a custom blend. Trying to complement all the different wood was tricky but I think it turned out nice.


Lots of room for clothes – and shoes! (I’m showing you Shawn’s side though because he is a hell of a lot neater than me!)


Another job we had done was having a finish put on the redwood ceiling. Not a varnish – but a clear sealer that did not give off too much of a shine.


I am really happy with how it turned out. The ceiling now looks ‘finished’ and shows off that wonderful redwood. You may recall that after we had the ceiling sandblasted, I was not happy with the raw, pitted look.

The rest of the bedroom has seen a lot of changes. Some of you may recall it originally had an atrium on the deck.


Pictures I took when we first viewed the house – not our furniture

The atrium is long gone, as is that hideous automated curtain. We had all wood trim re stained and sealed as some parts had become discolored over the years and there were huge variations in color.

A lot brighter and better access to outside:


And finally – a platform bed!


Our bed isn’t a foot higher than the nightstands anymore! We purchased this bed at Scandinavian Design in Santa Rosa for 450 bucks! Eat your heart out Design Beyond Reach! We also purchased the 8×10 rug there as well for $799.

Now for those walls. As you can see, there is a lot of blank space. Over the credenza I’m thinking a large metal wall art and over the bed, a large bright painting. I think I need a plant in the corner, too. What do you think? I’m open to suggestions!

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The New Old Door

Over the last 4 years, we had the front door painted a bright red. But we always wanted to do something more ‘MCM’ with it. We thought we would be replacing it eventually, but our contractor warned us that the measurements were odd and he would have a tough time fitting in a brand new door. The fact that it was a solid – we think– mahogany, we didn’t want to replace it if we didn’t have to.

Here is the front door soon after we bought the house:


Notice the small window on the right, which we had removed, as well as the door to the garage.



I’m gagging a little looking at these.

So THIS has been our door for the last 3 years. We had it painted Merlot Red, and added chrome mcm door fixtures from Rejuvenation.


I have no idea WHY there was a peephole…

But we noticed that a lot of MCM front doors had window inserts, and that’s what we decided to do. We ordered a DIY window kit from The Millwork Market. (Great company to do business with, by the way! ). We chose reeded glass, as the window to the right of the door is also reeded. Then we had our contractor do the cutting and installing.

Once they were installed, we had the door sent out to our painters location to be sanded down and painted again. This time we went with an even brighter red – Benjamin Moore Redstone. But it gets better. When they took the door out, they asked us if we wanted the fixtures cleaned up as well.  From the photo above, it just looks black. Well, it turns out the hinges and footer were solid brass – and our painter knew a guy who could clean them up.

We had one problem with the window inserts. We couldn’t fit 4 as we originally planned because of the proximity of the door handle. Rather than having the spacing uneven, we opted for 3 above the door handle.




Interior shot of the door before.


And after.


That black metal footer is no longer black!



Very shiny door hinges!



Which meant we had to replace the chrome fixtures with brass colored ones…


The reeded glass insert up close.


Something is missing, though. What do you think? A fabulous but expensive bullet planter in the corner?



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Monty, the earthquake kitty!

I have neglected to mention our newest member of the family. This little guy showed up in our courtyard about a week after the earthquake that struck last August. I still don’t know how Shawn heard him because we were in the living room watching TV. All of a sudden Shawn mutes the TV and exclaims ‘I hear a cat!’. Thinking it was one of the neighbor cats that likes to visit I was not all that concerned. But then I heard it, a high pitched mew that can only come from a kitten. And then we saw him, a black spot of a thing, frantically crying at the courtyard window, desperate to get in. We had to oblige :)

Into our garage he went away from the other cats. And within minutes the skinny runt was chowing kibble like his plane was going down.

He ate. And ate.


When he FINALLY had eaten enough he promptly climbed onto my lap and fell asleep.


(And into my heart)

At that point we hadn’t really decided if we would keep him (although Shawn said he knew as soon as we brought him in the house) but we took him to the vet as soon as we could to get him checked out. He was estimated to be about 3 months old. And infested with fleas. Yuck.  After starting him on his vaccines, we took him home, gave him some flea medication, and made a home for him in the bathroom. The next day, I entered the bathroom and was bombarded with more flea carcasses than I could count. Everywhere! How did so many fleas come off such a little cat?!?!

After posting on Next Door, our neighborhood website that we had a lost kitty, no one claimed him. We’re not sure whether he was dumped off or was from a barn cat litter and made his way up our hill from some of the farms and wineries in the Coombsville area east of our house.

He was such a sweet personality, we decided to keep him. Yep, we’re the crazy cat couple with <cough> four <cough> cats.

Pretty soon, he was fitting right in with the other cats.

Benny showed him how to look at birds…


And most importantly, how to nap.


Here he is almost a year later, minus some boy parts and with a much bigger belly!


His only vices?

He loves to chase my mouse pointer.


And he’s a toilet paper shredder. Particularly new rolls!


I never thought I would be saying anything positive about the Napa earthquake, but it somehow brought us this little guy.

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Is here! Apologies to those who have not seen my new posts. I moved from Blogger to WordPress and getting the RSS feeds to ‘talk’ has been a nightmare. But I finally figured it out. Let me know how you like the new look! I have a lot of updating to do, I know, but I’m getting there!


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Going Solar

In the summer of 2014, we had solar panelling installed.  I was not keen on the idea at first.  I was against spending the money, but Shawn was all in. The main factor that changed my mind was that it adds to the resale value if we ever decide to sell. I couldn’t wrap my head around how long it would take to recoup the cost but yes, the electricity savings are great! SolarCraft is the name of the company that we went with – they have been in business over 25 years and the panels are American made.

Preparing for installation

Other factors we considered. We didn’t want to do the “lease” aspect because you don’t really own what’s on your private property and that can be an issue with re-sale. Also, those programs are specific based (financially) on the current laws and if the laws change you can have a significant issue in terms of the property that’s attached to your roof and connected to your electrical panels. We decided to purchase so that we would own them outright as it will also add significantly to the resale value of the home. In other words, our “green” decision was based on the universal green…MONEY :)



Come on Sun!





Here are the specifics:

System: 7.020 kW Power (STC) / 5.995 kW AC Power (CEC)
Est Annual Production of 10,397 kWh
PV Panel Description: 26 SolarWorld Model: SW270 Mono Black (one of the 2 or 3 US based companies left that still manufacturer solar panels).
Inverters: 26 Enphase Energy model: M215-60-2LL-S2x (1 inverter per panel for maximum conversion). Company based out of Petaluma, CA. Individual inverters monitor each panel instead of the collective which makes it easier to pinpoint a problem with an individual panel.

Total cost of $34,000. Federal tax credit of 30% reduces to $23,800 with an estimated payback of 7 years. PG & E increased electricity rates 5.9% this year and estimates are future yearly increases will be at or more than 5.9%.

Annual estimate is meant to match the average annual usage and not go over (net metering) as in CA you can only get 1c to 2c per kW produced over your usage (selling back to the grid) where the average cost is around 28c/kW. Unlike CO, which provides a $ for $ return to the consumer if you overproduce and sell back to the grid.

Also, we have a website to monitor our daily production.

This was the best part. Flipping the switch and starting to watch our meter go backward!


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