When I arrived in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, I wasted no time heading to my first destination – the home of our West Coast writer, Amy. I swooped by to pick up Lana, our Senior Store Manager for the San Francisco area, and we made the drive over the Golden Gate, away from the city fog and into the wide open space and sunshine.
We drove through the gates of Annadel Estate winery, up a winding road, past beautiful oak trees reaching down to greet us with their branches, up to the green water tower that Amy and her family call home. Amy is one of the most creative people I know, and it makes sense that she’d live surrounded by such beauty. In a home filled with special treasures, with windows and doors open to the Northern California breeze, that look out over rolling vineyard hills… it envelopes you with such a sense of peace. It allows your mind to de-clutter and focus only on the here and now, the moment at hand, and what you’ll make of it. Above all, there is such an overwhelming feeling of love in their home – which they now share with newborn baby Myles. Step inside Amy’s dreamy home below!
First of all, how did you find this incredible home and how long have you lived in it?
If I remember correctly… we found our home whilst perusing the world wide web, while er, sitting at a romantic dinner in Seattle :). Lauren randomly just asked “want to live in a water tower?” I thought for a second and nodded. “Yeah. I actually really do.” Simple as that. We met the owners of this incredible winery (Annadel Estate winery… Dean and Abigail), fell in love…and moved in a few months later.
What do you love most about living in Sonoma?
The stillness. I unplug when I’m home… I don’t need a vacation to some far off place to detach from the often overloaded “incomings” of the everydays. I wake up unplugged and remain so until I absolutely must turn the switch “on.” Ask anyone close to me… I disappear when I am home, but those that love me are unaffected by my non-communicative nature. They know I’m just cruising around with my dudes and a smile. I love that we are an hour from San Francisco, an hour from the old growth redwoods of our hometown, 30 minutes from an airport, in the center of some of the best restaurants in northern California, a hop and skip from swimming holes here and over there…. and near our closest family of friends. We do hibernate though…. I rarely leave this property.
Walking through your home, it feels like every decoration, every item, has a special significance or story to tell – can you pick 2 or 3 of your favorite pieces in your home and share the story behind them?
The leather bound journal: It was at our baby shower/party. Everyone wrote a message to Myles in it. We leave it out and both Lauren and I write a tidbit every day to him – a little note, a quote, a thought…. Sometimes pages of what we are feeling at this particular part in his life, sometimes just one or two words… “August 25th 2014… thoroughly amused. Good on you.” We are filling it with sketches and doodles, photos… filling it with our love. We’ll give it to him when he turns 18.
Textiles: we’ve collected from all our travels… I can’t get enough. Some rightfully feel that all the colors and patterns are chaotic… I find peace in color and textures, in contrast of prints and lines going all different directions. Each piece of cloth tells a story of a moment in time, I feel it’s my way of collecting the places and people I meet along the way. Textiles hang from all our walls, drape over our furniture, over our tables while we eat… even as napkins. The weavings all tell a story.
Masks/Paintings: Most of the pottery and sculptures are made by my incredibly talented Aunt… the two masks pictured here I’ve had in every home since leaving for college. I’ve named them “stern” and “serenity.” They are the best roommates… consistent in mood and always the same beautiful face to wake to.
Do you have a favorite room or spot in your home? And why?
I spend a lot of time on the middle floor, which is now the living room. I open both doors out to the deck to let the breeze travel through the home…. The light is always perfect, with windows from the floor to the ceiling and high enough to still be in the branches of the big oak tree and look out over the vineyard and big barns. The 4 of us (Jhuma included) nap together on the floor here all the time…. It’s a place of peace for us all; to read, watch a film, write, play music, spin records.
What are your three most-played albums from your collection?
Bob Dylan : (Blonde On Blonde)
Peter Tosh: Equal Rights
Rolling Stones Exile on Main St….
Oh wait, 3?
What is your favorite time of day at your home?
Golden Hour is pure magic…. It used to be my absolute favorite. Glass of Annadel Estate wine and a walk with my dog Jhuma. Since having a child… I see more sunrises and less sunsets…. How can one choose between both equally empowering times? I get a lot done in the mornings…. The sun’s arrival gives another type of energy. Can I like both equally? I really do. There is non greater than the other.
What are you currently reading?
“Why my 4 month old won’t sleep through the night” by google.com.
Also… both “What is the What” by Dave Eggers and “Lets Explore Diabetes with Owls” by David Sedaris have my complete attention when I’m awake.
It’s a beautiful evening, you and your family are hanging out at home… what is for dinner? And who is joining you?
Heriloom Caprese Salad with Buffalo mozzarella… chopped Isreali salad with cucumbers grilled shrimp and coconut rice… big glass of wine from Annadel…. We are sharing with our friends; playing music, singing… and passing baby Myles around- showing him a thing or two about the good rhythm ;).
What are some of your favorite local spots in Sonoma (coffee shops, vintage, food, etc.?)
Café Aquatica for a morning spent with the Pacific Ocean and the best cappuccino in Sonoma county.
Star in Glen Ellen for dinner, anytime we can.
Plain Jane’s for incredible furniture and rug finds….
Antique Society for a half days perusing of everything imaginable.
Thank you Amy, Lauren, Myles (and Jhuma!) for having me over :). xoxo
More home decor inspiration from the BLDG 25 Blog.