Friday, June 27, 2014

Sea Cliff, San Francisco

 My favorite neighborhood in San Francisco (for houses) is Sea Cliff.
Located just down the hill from the Legion of Honor museum, seen below, the neighborhood perches on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean.
The neighborhood is beautifully landscaped and many of the houses you pass with a gasp: "It looks like a magazine shoot!".
 I particularly loved this entry above through a grove of Olive Trees - right out of Veranda magazine, no?
 This bubbling fountain was in front of another house with beautiful landscaping.
Many of the houses have private front yards with walls. I loved the tastefully quiet entry above: black door, boxwoods, beautiful lanterns.
 Suited to the climate many of the houses are Mediterranean style.
 Another great entry with olive trees, rosemary, and lavender.
This was one of the lone modern houses which I loved. Notice the sculptural trees surrounding the property.
 This French Norman styled house is super charming.
 A few of these houses which appear to be the oldest have side entries. Notice the ocean to the right.
 The side facing the street is discrete and symmetrical. I think this house is actually concrete.
 Many of these houses, even the newer ones like this above, have great details.
 Looking back you can see how these houses perch on the cliff, capturing that ocean view.
 This house had some amazing old Mediterranean stucco work.
 This house, inland, captures the ocean views by going tall.
 Many of the houses not directly facing the water have rooftop decks and pergolas.
California was made for outside living! Even the interiors here focus on the outside view. Of course you recognize the name Sea Cliff as houses here have regularly been showcased in shelter magazines for decades.
 This house was one of my favorites but look closely -notice anything unusual?
I think that originally this was a stucco house and at some point someone removed the stucco to reveal the tile structure. Notice how the bricks at the door surround above are normal thickness while the rest are about 1/2" thick - a thin veneer.  If you visit the Legion of Honor museum be sure to enjoy the views and some great houses by walking down the Lincoln Highway.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Gardens of Filoli and some detective work!

Filoli is known primarily for her gardens admittedly. Yes I love the house but most visitors are drawn there for the gardens and the Dynasty connections (more on that later in the post, stay tuned Ed!).
A few years ago I briefly blogged about the gardens HERE but you can never have enough pretty pictures, right?
The gardens encompass many outdoor 'rooms' which because of deer (and security one would imagine) are walled off.
The deer actually linger just outside of the gates, visibly!  They probably smell all of the goodies inside!
The carriage house has been turned into a lovely gift shop and garden center. Some of the produce from the garden is sold here; I bought some lovely rose tea grown on site.
The roses weren't at their peak during my visit in early June but were none-the-less lovely.
If you're curious about any of the rose names the images are entitled by the names I got off the tags.
And as always you can click on any image to enlarge it on your screen!
Most of the roses were heavily scented.
Why have a one color rose when you can have two in one?
The colors were vivid and beautiful in the California sunshine.
Areas of shade were never far away either; a blessing for my sunburn!
I loved this rose arbor over a bench; a wonderful spot to rest.
The summer or tea house remains my favorite part of the property.
See a lengthier post on the summer house from my previous visit HERE.
However the best view of all isn't of the gardens but of the adjacent mountain.
Now down to the detective work.  Filoli is known to many from the 80s tv drama "Dynasty". Both of my visits I overhead snippets of conversation about the lily pond and a cat fight.  Above you see the swimming pool with the house beyond.  To the right of the pool is the lily pond and then the carriage house.
Above is the lily pond which is off the dining room terrace and the carriage house.  However the lily pond is clearly not the one used in Dynasty. Thanks to youtube I have proof - see the video below!
After driving into the entry court of Filoli the women are seen talking in the library. I watched the video closely and it is this exact library (with different furniture and artwork). See my earlier post on the library HERE.  HOWEVER you can see that the lily pond is different - different shape, different plantings, AND A DIFFERENT HOUSE in the background! 
Does anyone know where this iconic scene from Dynasty was actually filmed?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Filoli entry

The thing I adore most about visiting  house museums is checking out the amazing details caught in time. While at Filoli I must have taken 20 photos of the entryway itself!
Everyone knows the neo-Georgian front facade of Filoli from numerous tv shows and movies but it was used by Hollywood for a reason; the quiet good taste and great details just are dying to impress.
Looking up to the portico ceiling is rewarding with amazing plaster and stonework. Even the bronze lantern with leaded glass would be beautiful on its own.
Flanking the front door are antique Roman birdbaths - each slightly different but similar enough to appear a matching pair to the common observer.
Once inside even the front doorknob is a work of art, chased with detail. One small overlooked detail however: the screws are all different directions!  Horizontal or vertical I want them all to align!
The interior plaster walls are scored to resemble stone, a common technique used in my own coop building lobby.
And as everyone knows by now I adore a vintage light fixture.  These iron sconces  in the entry vestibule are also works of art.  Detail is everywhere if one just opens their eyes to SEE!