El Camino Real

On the heels of Valentine's Day, I've left my heart in San Luis Obispo.  My love for real estate listings stayed there and found another beaut to share with you today. 
This house was built in 1895, sits on 13 acres, and has its very own horse barn. 

The listing included this photo:

Fun to compare the changes, huh?  I tried to find more historic information about the house, but came up empty.  It's not San Luis Obispo's fault, though, because they have the coolest interactive "storyboard" site for historical buildings that every city should copy. 

In the meantime, let's check out the interiors, because I've found lots of design ideas to copy instead.

Specifically, lots of good ideas from one good designer, Sheila Bridges, like this for the living room:

and this for the dining room:

The house's beautiful staircase only needs to be showcased better. (We also should find a way to stop showcasing the kitchen from this foyer.  This isn't Fixer Upper, after all.)

Here's showcasing with showstopping wallpaper, mirror and light fixture: 

{Sheila Bridges}

Going back to the kitchen, the layout is a little confusing...

and oddly reminds me of "The Cosby Show" kitchen...

...when instead I'd rather be reminded of (and makeover inspired by) this kitchen:

{Venegas and Company}

Let's go upstairs, where first we'll encounter a utilitarian office :

Let's take another cue from Sheila Bridges and turn the useful into the eye-catching:

Then, in this bedroom, we'll take away what is currently eye-catching...

...and make it more useful for a soothing, streamlined sanctuary:

{Sheila Bridges}

We'll do the same for this bedroom:

But maybe with a touch more glam.  After all, that beautiful staircase needs to lead somewhere equally elegant:

{Tommy Smythe}

Finally, just in case you were curious about those 13 acres I mentioned earlier, here's a little look-see:

Not too shabby, huh?  You can see why I stayed smitten with San Luis Obispo.  
Maybe I just need a Marquess or a race car driver to turn my head.  
(How hard is it going to be to wait until the Downton finale on March 6th?!)


Twin Ridge Drive

I think I'm on to something.  Book-inspired real estate searches are fun!

Today's house is inspired by the book The Fairy Tale Girl by Susan Branch.  (I don't think this prolific watercolor artist and author needs an introduction, but just in case, here's a link to her wonderful blog.)  Her book is mainly set in San Luis Obispo, California, so that's where I focused my search.

The house was built in 1997, and the decor has that homey touch reminiscent of Susan's earliest books:

For today's look, though, I have different entry conversation pieces in mind:

{Catalano Architects}

Moving on to the living room, we see there's apparently another talented painter with ties to San Luis Obispo:

The mural is beautiful, but close your eyes and take a deep breath, because we're going a bit more meditative with the space,  like this:

{L K DeFrances & Associates}

As if the house's living room wasn't light and inviting enough, there's also this family room with wonderful views:

Like the living room, let's try taking it from French Country to sophisticated and soothing:

{Huestis Tucker Architects}

Another large and sunny window awaits in the dining room:

The trey ceiling here could echo that of the living room, as could the quieter decor:

{Tracey Ayton Photography}

The kitchen currently looks like a bustling and happy space:

But, in case you don't start your mornings quite this cheerful, we could add a little hush:

{Huestis Tucker Architects}

Upstairs, this first of 4 bedrooms is light and sweet:

We could keep the lightness of it, with maybe just a few touches of sweet:

{Pamela Pierce}

This bedroom might serve as a shipshape retreat for guests:

But I'd introduce a softer shipshape approach:

{Linda Woodrum}

From  The Fairy Tale Girl it was a quick trip to a fairy tale house.  
Now I think I'll make a quick trip to the library!