Small Towns of California

When I think of California, I can’t help but think of the tiny towns that dot the coastline and meander through the hillsides.  Take Los Olivos. It’s barely a town, hardly more than an intersection, but beautifully nestled in the Santa Yzez mountains amid rolling vineyards and understated wineries.

Wine Country Home is a shop I wouldn’t miss.  My favorite thing about it?  It doesn’t even have a website!

In the mood for something sweet?  Enjoy Cupcakes might be just the place.  If you’re planning an informal wedding or an outdoor affair, they can come right to your front door!

If you’re going to visit only one small town in California, Carmel-by-the-sea is the one I suggest.  Just minutes from Pebble Beach, this coastal gem is filled with shopping and dining.

Toffee colored beaches wind along a rocky coast

And story book homes spring to life

The last place on my list is Napa Valley.  Well known as a wine filled honeymoon destination, it has plenty to offer in addition to endless tasting rooms and Michelin rated restaurants.

Like hot air balloon rides complete with champagne brunch

And spa treatments among towering trees at Calistoga Ranch

Napa is tops on my list for a weekend getaway with my husband.  It is where we planned to spend our honeymoon before real estate woes got in the way, but now we’ll be so close it’s a trip we won’t miss!


The Victorian Homes of San Francisco

San Francisco is lined with Victorian houses built on narrow plots of land creating tall, thin homes distinctive in style, the most iconic of which are the row of ginger bread gems set against the expansive skyline of this one of a kind city.

There are four distinct styles of Victorian homes beginning with Gothic Revival which was predominant in San Francisco from 1850 to 1880.  Homes of this style are easily identifiable with pointed arches over windows and doors, gabled roofs, and porches that extend the entire length of the home.

Italianate homes are best recognized through one distinctive feature, a tall cornice.  A cornice is defined as: the molded and projecting horizontal member that crowns an architectural composition, which you can see in the example below.

Stick style homes (yes, you heard it right) came onto the San Francisco scene around 1860 and may be the most prevalent type of Victorian homes in the city.  Decorative gables, wide bands of trim, and vertical lines are key features of stick style architecture.

Finally, Queen Anne architecture refers to homes combining elements from various styles of architecture, rather than homes from a particular time period as the name suggests.  Marked by towers and rounded window frames, this type of home has intricate details that make it one of a kind.

Many Victorian homes blend features of more than one style of architecture to create beautiful facades and opulent interiors. When I look in the windows, I can almost see gentlemen in crisp black overcoats and ladies in extravagant gowns moving through the shadows of a different place and time.

California Dreamin’

Even though I’m not living in California quite yet, I’m already thinking about California style and how different it will be from quiet, cottage-y neighborhood where we live in Central Florida.   Like this stylish Napa Valley home by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects

With laid back white slip covered furniture that pops against the gorgeous wood and crisp white walls

Paired with simple details like a metal light fixture and nearly naked picnic table

In a design focused on bringing the outside in

And blending the architecture of the home with the surrounding hillside.  Whether this type of design is up your alley or not, it is an interesting perspective on blending nature and indoor/outdoor living.  (And yes, it’s definitely up my alley!)

I Left My Heart in San Francisco

In another life, I lived in San Francisco and never dreamed I’d have the chance to live there again.  Fast forward eight years later to a cute husband with a new job, and I’m headed back to the city by the bay.

Between the beautiful hotels and the fantastic shopping, design inspiration is all around

I’m looking forward to strolling (ok climbing) the hills and taking in all the interesting architecture

And wandering through Golden Gate Park with its’ Asian influences and endless, lush emerald gardens

When I first visited San Francisco, it was to see my friend Kristi who lived there at the time.  We were twenty-one years old (was I ever really 21 years old?!), and the day I arrived she took me to see The Palace of the Fine Arts Building.  I stood in awe and vowed I would live there one day.  (Thank you Kristi! You changed my life that day!)

When I visited with my husband a few years later, he looked around in wonder and said, “Promise me we’ll live here one day.”  I promised.  Even though it was a difficult decision since we just got settled in Florida, there is something magical about helping make one of the dreams of the person you love come true.

Even though I didn’t leave my heart in San Francisco, I do hope we’ll find more love for everything we do, big and small, in San Francisco

The Quintessential Coastal Town: Camden, Maine

What makes a perfect coastal town?  A beautiful harbor is a good place to start

A picture perfect downtown helps quite a bit

With unrivaled options for outdoor gear

And interior design options for every taste and style

Plus waterfront dining

And charming inns that look out to sea

There aren’t too many places that I’d rather be!

A Lovely Seaside Village

I’ve never had the feeling of stepping back in time as often as I do when I’m in Maine.  Life is simpler.  Road side vegetable stands dot winding country roads and money doesn’t change hands, it’s simply dropped in a box left by the road.

Nowhere is the feeling of a time gone by more apparent than in Bayside.  A tiny village nestled by the sea where gingerbread homes surround grassy knolls and overlook the bay.

Picturesque front porches and flags blowing gently in the breeze

Children playing and boats drifting by

A place where words can’t capture moments and pictures don’t do justice

I don’t know if I’ll ever have the chance to come back, but I’m happy knowing a place like Bayside still exists and I hope one day I’ll live somewhere where backyard vegetables are sold on honor systems and front doors are left unlocked, whether someone is home or not.

If you ever want to visit, you can book a ‘camp’ through Bayside Cottage Rentals.  I highly recommend it!

Putting the White in White Bungalow

When I first started this blog, I named it White Bungalow because, if you hadn’t already guessed, I love little white bungalows.

Coastal Maine is the land of white homes descending down charming roads leading toward the sea

Quiet reminders of a different place and time

When homes were built to last

And winding roads stayed winding roads instead of rows of run down gas stations and endless fast food chains

A place where charm abounds and life slows down in a little village by the sea

Previous Older Entries