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Friday, October 27, 2017

The Friday Files

Hello, dear friends.  After some dreary, soggy days we woke up to a beautiful crisp Fall morning. The Mister is taking a long weekend, and it looks like it's going to be a busy one.

The first gorgeous estate is located in Montecito.


The second property comes from San Clemente, California and is a bit of a celebrity itself.  At one time, it was referred to as The Western White House.    

I love this soft paint color.

More dining room inspiration can be found here.


Charming rustic kitchen design can be found here.

Calgon take me away...
to any of these luscious master bath suites.


Are you looking for ways to increase the value of your home?
They're right here.


Yesterday,  my buddy Anne and I spent a rainy, humid morning at the Junior League Showhouse.  It is a beautiful antique house that is used as a meeting place for the Belmont Women's Club. 

Naturally, they did not allow photos.  I got the above pic online.  It was one of two of my favorite rooms in the house.

Allow me to step on my soapbox.

Why do the designers of showhouses feel the need to go for the shock effect?  This gorgeous antique house was built in 1853. The designer decided to paint the flowing original staircase black and neon purple.   It made my stomach hurt.  A small alcove on the second-floor landing was designed like a mini Studio 54   - with disco music blaring.  That's when I reached for my bottle of Tums.

I don't mind spending 40 bucks knowing that it is going to a good cause.  But I would like to walk away with being inspired by beautiful design and some clever ideas in my pocket.

Are you throwing a kid-free Halloween party?
Here are 47 ideas for some adult treats. 


Considering that Halloween is right around the corner, I'm featuring some articles with an eerie angle to them.

Don't worry, you'll be able to sleep tonight. 

Did you know that there is a man buried on the moon?  
Yessireee... and the scoop is right here.

Do you know who this guy is?
His name is John Edward, and he is a famous Psychic Medium.
A friend of mine, ahem Susie B, had a mini-crush on him and went to his show.

Have you ever been or dreamed of being read by a psychic medium?  Here is one woman's experience.

And here is her book.


Have you ever been contacted by a loved one who has passed?  I have.  Someday I'll tell you about it.  In short, my Mom who had passed away 10 years earlier, woke me from a sound sleep with one word that solved my #2's medical crisis.  

You can find signs that your loved ones are with you right here.

Don't tell Sista that our Mom contacted me first.
She'll think that Mom loved me best.
She did, by the way.  


Enough with the scary stuff...

In a recent post, I mentioned an article that made a strong argument for not raking leaves.  The Mister asked me that night why I didn't mention his favorite toy, Sweep It!   So here it is.  He loves this thing and sings its praises any chance he gets.


Need a chuckle?
Here are 20 ways to confuse your trick-or-treaters.
I am definitely doing #6.
Who's in?

Until next time...


Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Feel free to contact me through comments and email. I love to hear from my readers!


  1. My hubby sings praises every day that he doesn't have leaves to rake from now to December. He would have loved that leaf pick up toy!

  2. Love that kissing booth! And if it were Chow or Chili, I just might take them up on it! And the #6 tip is a great one for Trick or Treaters. Not mean, just fun and confusing for them. LOL About the house photos: I wouldn't mind living in the stables or the wine cellar! Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Your Friday Files and home tours fill me with joy! Love the story about your mom, I definitely believe in signs from our dearly departed. Ha ha, now I really want to confuse the trick or treaters! Hand them a bill, yep! My sons came home with paper straw packs one year, guess who was excited about those...moi ...as they were a new novelty then, lol. Have a beautiful weekend!

  4. I love the Friday Files...always entertaining and chocked full of gorgeous things!

  5. Well, you just about covered it all in this post. I'm with you on the decor of a house o this type. Makes me sick too. Why would anyone do that? Have yourself a wonderful weekend my dear!

  6. That poor little dog at the end of your post...I think he wins the ugliest dog award! That is unbelievable about that staircase at the designer house...so sad! What were they thinking? Have a wonderful weekend!

  7. You always find the best houses and I think it is horrible when the designers give no thought to the history of the house and try to make a 'design statement'. We had a beautiful old house in the historical section here where they filled rooms with thoe mirrored squares with the gold veining and ultra modern light fixtures. Awful---

    That was really interesting about the remains on the moon. I did not know that. I always find something note worthy and fun here on your blog, Katie.

    Hope you have a good night- xo Diana

  8. Thanks for the shares, and yeah, I sometimes don't 'get' where designers are coming from. Pieces can come and go, but paint and wallpaper not so easily. Seriously! We hire so it's NOT something we can 'change'!!!

    I love the rustic kitchens, especially the lat one with the stone and brick walls. Beautiful!

    Happy Weekend, Katie!

  9. I will go read about the man on the moon:) I can not imagine how hideous that house looked! UGH! LOVE your Friday Files, always fun. Have a beautiful weekend.

  10. You are 200% correct about what is allowed to happen to historical show houses. Good Designer’s work with a structure...not against it! Thank you for your sudsy remarks.

  11. So much food for thought! I think your dreary soggy weather came down South. We are having a very wet weekend.

    As one who used to be a decorator as well as a design-obsessed person long before that, I have been on both sides of the issue of what makes designers in these show-houses do the things they do. When I used to visit show-houses while studying design as a returning adult student, I remember visiting a show-house in Fort Worth which elicited the same reaction from me that you had to the garish staircase. It was a lovely old Victorian home in which someone had gone totally ape-sh*t with funny little lights strung up on wires for overhead lighting and had painted every available surface brown. This was before the brown craze, I might add. The furniture was all very stark and contemporary, with hard angles and leather and chrome finishes. This was before the current modern craze took hold. I remember being so disappointed that I almost asked for my money back, but I think it was a fund-raiser for the symphony so I didn't.

    I have also participated in show-houses as a designer, and it is fun to push it and do things many clients will not let you do! However, in a historic house, I think it is very important to respect the architecture especially in an old house. Here in Birmingham, there is always a steering committee, the same one which makes the selection of designers for a given year, based upon what kind of proposals they submit after touring the empty house. We were given guidelines, ensuring that there is some continuity of style and flow throughout the house. There was some leeway, of course, but I do not remember any of those in which I was a participant that had anything hideously jarring. Of course, Birmingham is pretty conservative, but "pretty" sells tickets -- not "weird". Twice I draped a bathroom in fabric, which raised some eyebrows, but it was a good way to cover up that which was not within my purview to rip out and replace.

    I really enjoy your Friday Files posts!

  12. I agree with your soapbox on designers going over the top on show houses. Mostly they show me I wouldn't be hiring them to do mine!

  13. Hey, Katie, would you really like to live in one of these houses?
    You have a beautiful house. You have great decorating genes.
    Sometimes, I think these houses are so boastful. They don't make life any easier or more beautiful or more fun. They just show how much money or power the owner has.
    I've been involved in decorator show houses. It makes me sad when the decorators paint beautiful molding black or other things that desecrate the past of a beautiful home. Of course, there are many decorators and interior designers who do respect the design and the history of a home.
    HGTV has lowered the expectations and taste of homeowners. Who can redo a kitchen for $10,000? Get real.
    Even though I respect and admire some of the designers on HGTV, they just keep repeating themselves. They make it sound like you can remodel and entire house for $200,000 or less. Bathrooms, kitchens, open concept........ who are they kidding?
    Where are the antiques, the quality fabrics? Who really thinks IKEA is the place to buy furniture for a home???
    Enough of my rant.
    Thank you for your blog. I love it!

  14. I would live in Montecito or San Clemente any day, 2 great Cali towns! I stopped going to designer show houses for that very reason, some designers should be called ruiners...Love the 20 ways to scare trick or treaters!

  15. Heck yes I think we can sometimes get messages from our passed loved ones. Ahh those gorgeous pieces of architecture delight! Gorgeous! But I think I would miss my Americana living.


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