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



    Santa Barbara Style

    Have you ever been looking thru a magazine and experienced An OMG moment?  Well this just happened to me.  Every so often I like to pick up a Santa Barbara Magazine just to see what's going on up the Coast where the beautiful people live.  (Santa Barbara is about a thee hour drive up the coast from the little town I live in.)

    I love to pour over all of the real estate listings in Montecito. Dream of having a Spanish villa with rolling grounds down to the ocean.....  OOps sorry back to my OMG......The design spread this month was for an amazing Spanish Style farm house.  The two talented designers that transformed this home into a "Diamond"from it's rough state are Barbara Wiseley and Richard Hallberg.  It is so stunning I thought I would share it with you.  You can read the article at   Here are the pictures from the print version of Santa Barbara Magazine. 





    What do you think?  I think the perfect mix of Old and New, Rustic with just the right amount of elegance.  Move over I have packed my bags and I am moving in.  Think they will mind? I can Cook....


    Nashville Disaster

    I just read the most amazing story on the Nest Egg Blog,  titled,

      " Lifting up Nashville-A Flood Story".  It tells of ways we can all reach out to the victims of disaster and help.  You just have to have an open Heart.  Please drop by Rachel's blog, Here ,and read her story.  Your heart will be lighter all day.

    See How she helped the home owners go from this  ....

    To this.     Thanks Rachel for reminding us that we all can help using our own special talents, no mater what those talents are.


    Victorian Vignettes


    One of my projects was more of an old world French with a Victorian era feel to it.  Here are some of the vignettes. 


    I am Joining Artie for Vignette Friday.



    While taking some Photos for my portfolio I was trying to capture just the right mood for this picture.  This one came out okay, but look what happened to the next one.

    It looks like I was trying for special effects, but really this just happened.  This is the actual picture as it came out.  Don't suppose it is the late night Ghosts Haunting these wonderful old Antiques?  Couldn't we just write a story about what is going on here?


    Where is my Slice of Heaven?


    When I need to refresh where do I long to be?  What helps me get back to center?  And what do I want to do? Read, lay around, relax, turn my brain off?   I think the one element that relaxes me is Water. 

    It doesn't have to be the Beach. A lake or a stream with the running sound of water soothes me.  We live at the beach, but we find ourselves planning beach get-a-ways. It has to be warm, quiet, secluded.  Don't need luxury, in fact I find simple is better.  I don't like Hotels. I don't want to hear the maids knocking in the morning or people talking in the halls all hours of the night. 

    Some of the most amazing refreshing times I have had have been on Lake Powell.  In our own small boat, we would travel up lake and get lost in a canyon with 100 foot cliffs towering from the waters edge.  Hiking trails the Anasazi Indians used centuries ago.  For just a little while we could believe we were the only ones on earth.  Heaven!  That was many years ago and the lake has since become so crowed it is hard to get away from the world, but for a little while it was heaven.

    Or the Oregon Coast, so wild and rugged?  Would that be it?

    Or....A private island that we had all to ourselves would also be nice.  Walking, snorkeling, cooking our own meals. Soaking up the sun and letting it rejuvenate us. We did say money was not a factor?  

    Sunset from our deck.


    Catalina Island and Dana Point Harbor from the deck.


    But my favorite spot to unwind is...... every night on our very own deck.  Gazing out over the Pacific.  Watching the sun set behind Catalina Island.  Enjoying what we have worked so hard for.  Sharing it with friends and family or just the two of us.  It is my vacation everyday! But what makes it my sanctuary is the Man I share it with.




    I am Joining the blog off at #letsblogoff


    Cottage Girls..... Shopping

    I was out on a shopping trip with one of my Clients.  She has some favorite Shops that she was introducing me to in the Sacramento area.  She has an amazing knack for finding the best little out of the way places.

    Cottage Girls in Carmichael, CA. is on of those places.  The Owner has such a flair for vignettes that I thought it would be fun to share them with you for Artie's Vignette Friday.  Enjoy this wonderful shop.  A must see if you are in the Sacramento area.





    Notice the architectural element under the glass cloche?

    Here is it's new home.




    Bathroom Remodel

    This is what one of the bathrooms looked like when we moved in.  I took all of the lace down and lived with the white tile and oak cabinets for awhile.  We had other rooms more important than this one to tackle. After all no one used this one but my son. Well the time has come to bring this one up to date.

    I was looking for a rustic beach feel for the room. I ordered this vanity from Restoration Hardware and these mirrors from one of my wholesale venders.        


    I found this wonderful mosaic, but it was to small.  I had a local artist recreate it for me in a larger format for the floor.

    Here is the tile work done, just waiting on the vanity to arrive.

    The finished bathroom.


    You will notice that I didn't use the rustic mirrors.  They are still back ordered.  I bought some stainless mirrors to replace them.  I like the contrast between the rustic vanity, the crisp stone and the stainless mirrors.  What do you think? Should I replace the stainless with the rustic mirrors when they come?


    What ons the Market.


    We have an ocean view. Part of our view is of Dana Point Headlands.  There is a new development right on the beach called The Strands.  Even in this market these lots go for 4 to 5 million dollars.  Ouch!  A few brave souls have decided to do spec houses here.  Here is on of those homes on the market.

    What do you think?  Is it worth $6,900,00.00.  The lot is only 8,026 sq. ft.  The neighbors are pretty close, but you do have your own Beach just down the hill.  This is an area we enjoy walking thru and I have taken a lot of pictures of the homes in here.  Even been in about 5 of them when the ASID had an event touring these so I will post more of them.