This past week I visited my family in Sonoma, California, the heart of the California wine country. They had recently purchased a home in a lovely community overlooking the mountains, close to the boutique winery where one of my nephews was the marketing director. Needless to say, the views were spectacular, the property a feast for the eyes, whether indoor or out, and the wine bottles overflowing everywhere!
The obvious solution to the storage of almost a thousand bottles of wine was to create a wine cellar, but of course, the only cellar in this spacious home was a crawl space below the living room. The living room, however, with its massive fireplace, redwood ceiling and glass panels leading out to the outdoor kitchen area and pool, seemed to me to be the ideal wine “cellar” gathering place for this couple who love to entertain.
I suggested a cozy symmetrical seating area flanking the fireplace with a comfortable leather sofa balanced by two large scaled swivel chairs on top of a warm inviting area rug. Their existing dining table which can be expanded to hold twelve, looks like a large game table closed, and sits in front of two of the glass panels. They already had a pub table and stools and I thought another one placed strategically, would give them ample and diverse seating for all occasions. But what to do with the wine? Interestingly, between the panels of glass were just enough wall space to hold several glass fronted wine refrigerators placed side by side which could hold both red and white wines. Each refrigerator accommodates a minimum of 250 bottles of wine, so they would certainly be good for now and the immediate future.
Finally, I thought two small T.V. monitors on opposite ends of the room would provide enough viewing for their occasional needs since their large screen T.V. was set up in the den.
I left them with a plan (floor plan) and a plan (to put their home projects in order of priority and establish budget parameters) and a promise to keep me posted as this project unfolded. I suggested they enlist the aid of an architect for opening up walls in other areas and the creation of a separate guest house. Then they should seek a reputable licensed contractor to do the work, checking references before hiring.
This excited couple, new to California, has many plans for enhancing their already beautiful home. They will need a little more time to live there before they can make a complete “needs and wants” list, but knowing what a valuable asset their home is to a better lifestyle is a great beginning.
Whether you are a new homeowner or ready for a face-lift in your existing home, clearly your lifestyle will affect your decorating style. Maybe a wine room/living room is not for you – but a music room or game room is. Maybe your kitchen will be the hub of your “new” space plan or an indoor/outdoor room is what you long for. What you choose can make your home a more personal life enhancing space for you and those who live there. That’s what decorating is all about.