Friday, February 5, 2016

The Haunted Mansion, Harbour Island, Bahamas...

It took us a few circles around the island before we found it, but I am so glad we made the extra effort to visit the amazing Haunted House on Harbour Island, near the Harbour Island Marina. It is a elegant old gal that was obviously quite grand, especially compared to island standards, that is now perfectly, and beautifully, fallen to ruins.

When WWII broke out wealthy Europeans fled to the Bahamas for safety and leisure. With them they brought French and British architectural style, standards and culture. 

The Haunted Mansion is an example of this, but there is so much more to this story. As it's told the wealthy couple who first built this house had the most formal of customs, it's said that the owner never touched his chair because his gloved servants pulled it out for him for every meal. When he left the mansion to go back to Europe to visit his doctor, the table was set for his next meal, but he never returned.

And so it sat, until the 1960's when a Greek shipping magnet purchased the mansion and it's furnishings for his wife.

It's said that she came to the house only once and left screaming that the house was haunted.

And so the house sat. 

Over the years it continued to fall into disrepair and eventually caught fire, leaving only the shell of the structure behind. 

Today these lovely pink patina bones do not go to waste.

Take a look at this beautiful wedding Little Island Designs put together here. 

A stormy day in the islands is a great day to hit the spa, we had a fun time getting mani~pedis at The Island Spa and they shared with us these great images from a bachelorette party they set up in this beautiful shell. 

If you're in the mood for a destination celebration, I'd highly recommend this lovely {not so} Haunted Mansion.

It would be a unique experience your guests would never forget. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Lemon blossoms...

If there were an app to allow me to share a scent with you today, I would share the scent of these lovely Meyer Lemon blossoms that are sitting on my dining table as I write. Since that app doesn't seem to have been invented, yet, I have few other ideas on how you can bring this ethereal fragrance to your abode.

We bought this "Improved" Meyer Lemon at the extraordinary Christianson's Nursery in Mount Vernon on our way home from Orcas Island the other day. In the dead of winter the beauty and wonder Christianson's offers was even more pronounced in contrast to the cold and bare fields that cover the Skagit Valley this time of year. I loved walking through all of the cozy green houses and visiting with their lovely turtle doves.

If you are heading to the San Juan Islands I highly recommend taking a little detour down Best Road to visit there any time of year, you'll be glad you did. If that's a little out of your way, I'm sure Christianson's will also be at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle February 17 - 21. They always do a grand display and usually have some citrus plants for sale. 

If the PNW is a little out of your range right now take a look at this potted Meyer Lemon on sale on Amazon right now; or this Bareroot dwarf Meyer Lemon plant at Williams Sonoma

If houseplants aren't your thing you could just order a bottle of orange blossom water to spritz on your face, or make a piping hot cup of white coffee, or to scent your meringues

If, on the other hand the dwarf lemon seems too petite and you'd like to have something citrus on a bigger scale, here's how you could create a little citrus grove in your abode.

Ahhh, to live in a citrus grove
If you don't fancy florals but love the lemons, perhaps you'd like to make a jar of preserved lemons to add zest and flavor to your meals all year round (so easy, and they taste SO much better that those you buy). 

Preserved Meyer Lemons Recipe
Well, that's the end of my lemon love affair for now; what citrus are you crushing on this winter? 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Jeff Bridges' Santa Barbara home....

I don't usually do posts like this, but after perusing the shots of Jeff Bridges' amazing house that's for sale in Santa Barbara I felt compelled to share {#dusomethingnu}, and not just because we shared that little smooch when I saw him at the Coral Casino that day. 

Despite it's grand size the house seems so comfortable, relaxed and is furnished with so many special, unique touches. I found myself studying each image for all of the interesting details, like this room, with the classic mission style doors and windows, the grand antique fireplace and the rough sawn ancient beams from the "other' coast. Not to mention the eclectic selection of textiles that finish off the room.

I believe this is the theatre/ recording studio. Aren't the peaceful colors of the floor to ceiling art perfect? Bold, interesting, but they harmonize, beautifully. 

Here are some of the outdoor living spaces overlooking the expansive Pacific. I'm sure they enjoy beautiful garden bouquets all year long with that rose garden and the moderate SB climate.

Indoor~outdoor living at it's best.

I think this deck is off the 3rd floor study, what a lovely spot to retreat to study ones lines. 

I could handle lingering a little longer for lunch beneath this majestic oak. 

The thick stone exteriors are contrasted with plenty of white and light flowing through the 5 bedroom, 5.5 bath house.

Love the touch of green of the Venetian sconces & the painting in this room.

Intriguing Neutrals, and the girls.

The stunning pool, with a stream cascading into it, looks more like a natural lake. So peaceful and idyllic.

The total property is 19 acres, they bought it from one of my all time favorite musicians, Kenny Loggins, so it has a high talent provenance. 

The grand arches at the entrance

open up to more classic Santa Barbara architecture, with the comforting appeal of more of the century old wood beams from east coast bridges, simple style windows and doors and adobe walls.... oh, and those ocean views.

After raising their 3 daughters here the couple is ready to move to a smaller house in the Santa Barbara area. If you decide to visit it, please tell the dude I said hello, oh I adore that guy!!

Asking price? 

Just shy of $30.million. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Bahama Blues, manatees #mermaidlife....

Oh, the weather outside is frightful. While the east coast is getting hammered by the epic blizzard, the amount of rain in the PNW is making me think of building an ark. If I do, I'll be sure to avoid this shallow sandy area where this ship ended it's journey. The Bahamas are a prized place for divers because of all of the shallow wrecks one can explore scuba diving, snorkeling (or even boating). 

This entire bay off Hope Town is so shallow, it's amazing the captain would be trying to navigate the area, perhaps he was tempted by a sirens call? 

We had a bit of a storm when were in the Bahamas, and it brought out some beautiful blues. If these shots don't brighten your day, maybe the video of the pair of Manatees who were drinking fresh water from the dock one morning will do the will do the trick {see link at the bottom}? 

What are you doing to weather out the storm? 

To see the beautiful mother and baby who visited us on the dock one morning click on Manatees ,  enjoy.