Monday, April 30, 2012

Gump's - for Summer Coastal Inspiration

Oh my!   We spent the afternoon in the city yesterday - and lucky me, we went to Gump's! If you have never been to Gump's in San Francisco, you are truly missing out on a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.  Located just off Union Square in downtown, sandwiched between the famous Maiden Lane and Post Street, this historical landmark store is packed with unique finds, art,  fabulous dinnerware, jewelry, and incredibly elegant gifts and luxury for your home.    

I need to go every couple of months just to soak up the atmosphere; feel the cashmere, yearn after the china place settings, breathe in the scented candles.... Yesterday was exceptional!  Gump's entrance was totally transformed with their "Lake Country" Event.
(can you see the full size restored wooden speedboat?)

"A special installation of furniture, artwork, tableware and decorative accents from artists and designers whose unique work captures the essence of Lake Tahoe in summer filled with carefree days of boating, fishing, swimming and waterskiing. Each piece reflects the beauty and warmth of the season, and the anticipation of adventures to come." 

All I can say is "WOW"!

Enjoy my iphone photos - tried really hard to capture this for all of you without getting any of Gump's customers in the images.  

Loved the artwork - the colors of summer!

Rope Lamp, fish plates, helm lunch bags, "water" glasses

Wharf lamp from Currey & Co., silver coral branch candle sticks, Vance Kitira unscented candles, turquoise vases, glass fishing floats.  

(p.s.  if you like unscented candles Vance Kitira is the BEST choice)

Bottle stoppers made of old fishing reels!  

Nautical!  Brass elements, tripod lamp, gorgeous model boats.

Hanging polished chrome lanterns, Lake art, pretty blue and white pillows!

Art - also liked the bright orange ceramic stool mixed in.  Great color contrast with the light blue.

Oyster Lamp, driftwood art, and wicker birdhouses.  (P.S. the Lamp was over $1,600.00 - but totally gorgeous!)

Hope you all enjoyed!  I will be happy to be your Gump's tour guide anytime you'd like to meet in San Francisco..... 

Have a great Monday.

A final P.S. Gump's a wonderful website to explore if you can't come to San Francisco

Friday, April 27, 2012

Weekend Crab and Artichoke Bisque

Last weekend we took my parents for a afternoon drive to  the Big Sur coastline (Stunning!). On our way back, my dad insisted that we make a quick pit stop at Pezzini's.  Pezzini's is a farm stand just off Hwy 101 between Monterey and Castroville, but it is not quite your average roadside farm stand.  Monterey County can claim fame to the artichoke, "The Official Vegetable of Monterey County - and believe me Pezzini's has every size and shape available!

So of course, we had to bring home a bag full of these beautiful spring beauties, and a new California Artichoke Recipe Book.  Now, what do make out of them?

Ah ha! Crab Bisque is on the menu for this weekend!

Step 1 - prepare the artichokes

Use large artichokes - pull off the lower outer leaves of the artichokes. Cut the stem to 1 inch or less.  I like to either steam or boil artichokes, and avoid the microwave as I am definitely not a great microwave chef.

For Boiling:
Use a deep saucepan or pot, stand the artichokes in 3 inches of water.  Cover and simmer 25-40 minutes depending on the size, or until the leaf near the center pulls out easily.

For Steaming:
Similar to boiling. Just use a rack over boiling water, cover and steam for 25-40 minutes.  This way your artichokes do not get waterlogged, and the taste is preserved better.

Now for the Crab Bisque*:

6 large prepared artichokes
6 cups of vegetable broth
2  cups cleaned crab (we like dungeness!)
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/2 Yellow Onion - chopped and minced
2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup flour
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 pound small whole carrots - chopped small

Artichokes: Scrape meat from artichoke leaves, reserve the meat. Remove and discard fuzzy centers. Place  cooked artichoke bottoms and reserved meat from leaves in blender, process until smooth. Heat broth to boiling, then add green onions, onions, carrots, salt and pepper and cook until veggies are tender.  Add artichoke puree and crab meat. Cook five minutes.

Add cream to flour and blend; beat in egg yolks. Stir cream mixture into artichoke mixture and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened.

Makes 10 to 12  servings.
*recipe adapted from the California Artichoke Recipe Book

Quite the feast!  Serve in pretty crab-themed dinnerware and now you have a party-

Don't forget the glasses for Wine!

Have a wonderful weekend!  Not sure where we're headed for our next adventure - but here's a few glimpses from last weekend along the Big Sur Coast.

We simply love this stretch of the California coast - could go every single weekend....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sailing Style

I have to be honest.  Love the idea of a "Sailing Style", love the romance, the mystery, the idea of battling with the wild wind and sea.  But, I am not a great sailor and can't even pretend to be.

For starters, I could tell you stories of sailing in Pearl Harbor on a 22 foot sailboat with my ex-husband and with a tiny baby daughter Allison. In the dark, in the wind and then the rain began.....  He thought it was exhilarating - I thought it was one of the most scary things that I had ever experienced.  (all I could think about were the legendary hammerhead sharks that populate Pearl Harbor!)  Needless to say, we sold the boat and I NEVER stepped foot back on board.

 I digress; we're supposed to be talking about "Sailing Style" - not my fear of sailing.

Sailing Style by Tricia Foley is one of my favorite coastal design books.  It's a little difficult to find now, but if you can get a hold of a copy it's well worth the space on your bookshelf.  My friends at Liberty Bay Books may be able to help track some copies down...

"Combining a look backward with her own trademark and forward-looking style—fresh, simple, and inimitable—Foley offers design inspiration for all those who long for a cottage by the sea. Every chapter showcases both the practical design solutions of sailors and sailboats as well as living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, and design details that express a nautical style."

For me, Sailing Style has a little more romance, classic styling and shine, unlike some other types of "nautical" decorating.  Think Ralph Lauren, navy blue , crisp whites and calm seas....

It's polished metals... chrome, steel and pewter
(Overboard Lantern - Caron's Beach House)

(discovered on Pinterest)

caramel colors of coiled rope 

(from Johnathan Adler)

(House and Home)

combined with shades of bright whites and sea blues....

(Thomas Paul Rope Coasters)

(coming soon to Caron's!)

One of my very favorite pillows on our site - "Sailboat at Sea" 

Hope you are having a great Wednesday!   By the way, I am learning to get over my fear. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

We have a Beach Art Winner!

Stephanie of Marin Kids Consignment you are our winner!  Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments on our blog and our Facebook Page - love all of your beach inspiration.

Stephanie wrote:
"Grown up and still in N.Cal and the beach is my escape. I can sort through sand & rocks for hours and I live 24/7/365 in flip flops. Beautiful items here!"

Our Goal at Caron's Beach House and at Everything Coastal is to continually inspire all of you to relax and live at the beach every day of the year - even if it's only in your heart.   Sharing your ideas and your stories is very inspiring, and I consider it a privilege to know you!

Just want to share a few of the comments left for the give-a-way!

Nantucket Daffodil:
"How fabulous! My beach inspiration and interest started as a child growing up in southeastern Massachusetts.How fabulous to pick tiny slivers of opaqued glass from the sandy glorious to run down the beach with your brothers and sisters...just trying to catch the sandpipers. Sandcastles...freckles....summer memories that will last a lifetime."

Alison writes: 
"I grew up spending my summers on a sailboat in the San Juans. Years later I got married on the shore of Chesapeake Bay. Nautical, beach, and marine life is my passion."   

(The San Juan Islands are my favorite place in the whole world!)

SeaLaura writes:
"What a gorgeous and generous prize!! My beach inspiration is the PAcific Coast, Big Sur. I love the windy road which has become a metaphor for my own path of living by the beach.
I am a long time followe on FB, twitter and receive your newsletter. Thanks for the opportunity".

(the image is from a Sunday drive of our last November)

Katrina writes:
"we live just a few miles from the beach and our whole house is decorated as such so we just love the beach and all the natural decorations the beach producers."

Have a great Sunday everyone!  Tom and I are off to the wine country to visit our friends at Ladera Winery  in Napa.  The fog seems to be lifting....

P.S. Stephanie - don't forget to send me an e-mail with your info!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Introducing Currey & Co. at Caron's Beach House

The first time that I spotted Currey & Co.'s elegant coastal home decor pieces, we were attending our first furniture and gift show at the America's Mart in Atlanta in 2004. (forever ago!)  Small town girl in a big city, and I fell in love.  Have been craving their products ever since.

You may have spotted them in many of the design magazines, such as House Beautiful or Traditional Home and Elle Decor.  (Can't help it, I am a home magazine junkie)

I have pages ripped out with inspirational photos on my bulletin board (thank goodness for Pinterest - now my office is a little less messy!) and now thrilled that we can offer some of Currey & Co. products that I have only seen in those magazine pages or in the showrooms!

The image on the right is from House Beautiful and is part of an article about an Annie Selke beach house design in Chatham, MA.  The whole house is fantastic - this elegant, but relaxed, dining room was my favorite. Love the mix of the Dash Albert stripes in the carpet, the "seaweed-like" swirls in the Calico Corners upholstery fabric, combined with coral pieces and a pretty blue toile inspired mural.  

The all-natural Oyster Shell Chandelier is from Currey & Co, and now is available at Caron's!

Or a stunning "Beachcomber" mirror in this water view  Shippan Designer Showhouse in Stamford, Connecticut in Traditional Home.  

Positioned just behind the an English sofa table, masquerading as a desk.  (Designer: Jack Fhillips)  This shell encrusted mirror is definitely a statement piece at 39" high, covered in beautiful jewel-like seashells!

Come see!  

New! Lynnhaven Lamp - all natural oyster shells.

Seaward 6-light coral chandelier - finished with real sand and creamy white paint.

Have a great Wednesday!  It's raining here in San Francisco, so unfortunately I am glued to my desk... hope you all have the chance to get outside!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Octopus Coastal Home Decor

Not sure if you all have noticed, but Octopus design is still a hot trend in coastal decorating - personally, I can't get enough of it!  Last week while I was searching for coastal dinnerware to add to the Caron's Beach House site, I just kept collecting Octopus images and products and ended up pinning a ton to my "Octopus" board on Pinterest.

Have to share some of my favorites!

A hand thrown mug with Octopi on both sides of the mug - want this!

From Anthropologie - a Octopus hook!  Wouldn't this be perfect for bathing suits or towels on a beachside deck?

Octopus on Melamine Plate from The Mad Platters - also on Etsy.  I liked all of this artist's designs - pretty creative!

Drooling over these Octopus glasses from Asprey.  They have several sizes and colors... a little pricey, but beautiful!

Cuff links and Tie Tack from Cosmic Firefly - just one example of their Octopus designs.  They have over 70+ octopus accessories.  Too much fun!

Octopus fabric at Spoonflower by Lemondade Fish (caution: Spoonflower can be just as addictive as Etsy!)

Or maybe  a pretty pattern from Calico Corners?  

All I can say is WOW - this is incredible wallpaper from  It's called "Captain Smith" and has a fantastic story that goes with it, as well as coming in several different colors.  Gosh, I wish I had a wall to add this to...

Or if you want to create something of your own - thought this was a great idea from Graphicals (also on  Download your own image and use it for a pillow, a totebag, a linen pillow case..... possibilities are endless!

And now for a few of my new Octopus favorites at Caron's!

Whimsical bright octopus pillow  - perfect for indoors and outdoors.  Also has a matching door mat!

Botanical Sealife Ginger Jar.  It's one of my all-time favorite coastal accents - love all of the colors and the blue octopus image.

There's one cute octopus in this red embroidered natural linen guest towel set - too cute! 

Or for something subtle and neutral - this new tan embroidered octopus on a bright white canvas pillow just might do the trick!

See what I mean? There are so many ways to add a little sea creature fascination into your beach house!  

Relax and Live at the Beach Every Day of the Year!

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