California

Comfort and Community

Monterey and I didn’t like each other much when we first met. It was so cold and grim, and I was so unhappy to be there. But over time, I fell in love.

I think it is Monterey’s Heathcliff demeanor that was part of the love: shaggy and brooding, charged with the energy of a throbbing Pacific (see what I did there?). But it was also the family that grew there. My family.

My Monterey family is all about growing deep roots. The matriarch (who is one of the youngest of us all in age but a true power woman with an old soul) decided years ago that she wanted to live where “wine trees” grew. That led her and her husband to this Peninsula where they not only have made wine (from a family vineyard) and sold wine (at our external “living room” and business of another member of our family: Pierce Ranch Vineyards) but now also run a successful shop that brings the local community together: Lilify.

My friends live above their shop with two geriatric rescue dogs (one is deaf, one is blind). In their home, their impeccable taste doesn’t get in the way of daily living which is a rare commodity in places that have style. Usually, styled homes are austere and cold, yet this house is warm, quirky, and incredibly put together–much like the matriarch. We got to be a part of their gestation and finishing process of building the space and choosing what it would look like from the butcher block countertop to the rough wood shelves in the bathroom. I can’t wait to see how it will evolve as their lives do. I know for certain that is will always be filled with love and laughter and hospitality because that is my family’s nature.

Staying at this house is both full of wonder because you don’t know what kind of surprises wait and also full of peace as we all settle into a daily routine of cooking, eating, working, and chatting together. It is pure community at its best.

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20140303-100026.jpg (this sculpture and the little guys in his hands are done by Chloe Wilson)

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(all the tables are handmade by my friend)

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(my friend designed these record shelves)

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