Sue Murphy

Every House has a story...a soul.  My job as a designer is to tell that story.



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    Home & Garden Blogs - Blog Rankings

    Favorite Posts

    Raising the Roof

    French Style with Sea Shells

    Bathroom Remodel



    Pasadena 24th annual Home and Kitchen tour

    Sunday I grabbed a good friend and headed off to the 24th annual Home and Kitchen tour in Pasadena Ca. The were four beautiful homes on this tour.   My favorite was an amazing contemporary home designed by the architectural firm of BplusU.  

    The master bath was gracious in size with windows the opened out to a private garden.  In fact the shower was glass on three sides giving the impression of showering outdoors.

     The Kitchen had a wide open work space and a tv that popped up from the counter.

    The screens in the living room are raised to the ceiling when not in use to create a soft artistic canopy effect.





    Autumn Inspiration

    It isn't really Autumn here on the west coast yet, so I needed a little Inspiration to get in the mood.  Hope you enjoy these.




    all photos via Flickr


    I am joining Artie At Color Outside the lines for Vignette Friday

    and Show and Tell Fridays at At My Romantic home


    Asian Inspired Bathroom

    This bathroom started out as a typical bath with tub in shower and  no personality.  Just a normal vanity.

    Bathroom Before

    bathroom before (sorry the image is so poor)


    I wanted to give it a Spa like feeling so I decided to use all natural materials.

     Slate for the shower, Bamboo for the floors and Teak for the vanity I custom designed.  I added niches for the towels and split the height of the counter to accommodate the faucet and copper vessel sink.

    I also removed the wall between the shower and toilet.


     Slate for the shower, Bamboo for the floors and Teak for the vanity I custom designed.  I added niches for the towels and split the height of the counter to accommodate the faucet and copper vessel sink. Bamboo blinds and cotton towels complete the design.   What do you think did we achieve the spa like quality we were going for?


    I am joining Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday. Please follow the link to see what all of the other talented bloggers have to show.


    My Old friend the Magazine.

    My Husband is very understanding about the piles of magazines I have laying around the house.  In fact my home would seem a lot less cluttered if it weren't for the magazines stuffed in every nook and cranny.  I am sure you design addicts out there know exactly what I am talking about.  But.... whenever I am working on a  new project and need some inspiration or just an idea on how to treat a certain area I turn to my trusted old friends, my magazines.


    I was trying to find some ideas for a Neutral living room, that had an European old world feel.  I pulled out a stack of my old Southern Accents.  This is what I ran across in my January-February 2002 edition, this wonderful home done by designer Dan Carithers.


    Aren't theses rooms beautiful? Some homes are timeless no matter how long ago they were done.  So glad I kept that old pile of magazines.  How about you?  Do you keep stacks of back issues of your favorite magazines and if so, how far back do they go?  How long before the  designs in them are out dated?



    Fairy Tale Cottage

    Every little girl dreams of her Fairy tale cottage.  Well this grown up little girl did something about her dream by turning a Catskills hunting cabin into a real life Fairy Tale.

      This romantic cottage is amazing in every way down to every detail.  Couldn't you just curl up in here and spend a dreamy afternoon?


      To read the whole story of this transformation read Sandra Foster's blog on how she did it.  Here

    I am linking with Artie for Vignette Friday  at Color Outside the Lines

    I am also linking to Show and Tell Friday at  My romantic Home and

    Finding Beauty Friday at DipityRoad


    Decorating with Sea Shells

    Living at the Beach I do a lot of vignettes with sea shells.  I find shells so fascinating.  Each one a work of art.  Here are a few vignettes in my own house.



    I am joining Artie today at Color Outside the Lines for Vignette Friday.




    Italian Wedding

    I was visiting some of my favorite blogs this afternoon when I happened over to Cote' Provence.  I was stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the beautiful post on a fairytale wedding, "If I Ever......".  Which one of us women doesn't dream of the perfect wedding if money was no object.  What would we do? ( Actually I think that would be a fun Post party with everyone doing a virtual wedding......I know guys you are all saying Yuck.....but that is not what this post is about. ) I left a comment talking about how this post made me remember a dream wedding I attended a few years back in Tuscany, and I promised to share pictures.  So Cote' Provence, this is for you.

    The wedding was a three day event.  The Brides family and Friends stayed in a beautiful villa in the Italian country side called Villa Vignamaggio.   The Main part of the Villa was built in the 1400's.  Mona Lisa was born at the villa in 1479.  To read more of it's history go here.  Today it still produces olive oil and Wine.  Three of us girls shared one of the private apartments.  Heaven.


    For the rehearsal dinner we were transported up a winding road 45 minutes to the top of one the local mountains to an ancient monastery.  We arrived just as the sun was setting. The Panoramic views were breath taking.  The Meal was provided by the monks.


    The next day was the wedding.  As before we were transported 45 minutes up a winding road in the opposite direction.  We were deposited at the court yard of a church that I was told dated back to the 1300's.  Wish I could remember the name of it, but to many other things to distract my mind at the time.


    The wedding was simple and Beautiful.


    Then off again to the Reception which was at an old castle.  As we arrived the sun began to set and the thunder clouds in the distance put on a spectacular lightning show.   There were hors d'oeuvres and drinks on the lawn and then to the court yard for dinner and dancing.

     I think this is up there with the top ten ideas of a dream wedding. What do you think?


    I am linking to A Southern Daydreamer's Outdoor Wednesday








    Victorian Kitchen

    On a quiet street in Redlands sits a beautiful old Victorian cottage. The owners have painstakingly restored this beauty to its original splendor. From restoring the old front porch, to replacing the gingerbread trim that had been removed by previous owners they have been true to the look of the period.

    Kitchen Before

    Closet and storage area beforeCloset area removed, After      

    With this same goal we tackled the kitchen that had been remodeled in the 40's. They didn't want to move any walls or change the foot print of the original house. But the kitchen was very small. After doing some investigating we found that the hall closet and a small storage area had been part of the kitchen at one time. We opened them up and achieved the extra space we needed.

    Pantry Before

    Pantry After

    The two walk in pantries on either side of the dining room's etched glass door were replaced with the beautiful green built-in servers, complete with library ladder to reach the uppermost shelves.

    Range Wall , After

    The Viking range was custom painted to match the cream cabinets. Prized hand made tiles brought back form France by the owner's mother were incorporated into the back splash of hand made tiles made by a local artist.

    The dark island with it's limestone counter, matches the adjacent wall where the refrigerator and pantry are hidden by two armoires.

    Sink Before

     We used Three Cabinet Colors in this kitchen, but because the cabinets feel like free standing furniture I think it works well for this space even though it is not large.


    I am joining Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday.  Please follow the link to see what other wonderful Bloggers have done.