Living Lavishly Volume 12

Page 1

on the Central Coast

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Publisher’s Note In these uncertain times, we tend to appreciate the things in our lives that matter most. There’s a prioritizing and a reconciling that tends to happen naturally with questions that present themselves during life’s most pivotal moments: What parts of our day, our week, and our lives are edifying, fulfilling, or life enriching? How are we spending our time? Are we happy, or at the very least content, with our current relationships, circumstances or direction? We can use this time as an opportunity to make choices and decisions that can change our life’s course. We can use this opportunity to repair, restore, renew, or maybe even

Bret Colhouer

start a new chapter or direction. At Simply Clear Marketing, we have used this opportunity to invest in our relationships — both personal and professional. As a team and with our clients, we’ve shared the struggles and triumphs we’ve experienced over the past year. We’ve consoled, congratulated, and shared tears and laughs as we’ve reflected on and adapted to the new reality that we have all been experiencing. This magazine has always been a reflection of who we are as a team at Simply Clear

Lani Colhouer

Marketing, who our clients are, and how they are represented in our local marketplace. Our hope is that it is also a reflection of who our readers are in their everyday lives too. As you read this issue, soak it in, and read every word. Know that we put a tremendous amount of thought and effort into every story and yes — even every advertisement. The advertisements represent a part of our relationship with our clients. Our team enjoys the collaboration of brainstorming ideas and angles to best represent them to you, our reader. Our hope is that you’re inspired by their offerings, motivated by their calls to action, and enlightened about who they are as a company. We, as always, are proud of what we have put together in this 12th edition. We feel it is our best edition, although in fairness, we feel that sentiment every time we finish a new magazine. That being said, settle in, get comfortable, relax, and enjoy our latest issue of Living Lavishly on the Central Coast.

Bret Colhouer | Lani Colhouer | David Diaz

4 / Living Lavishly

David Diaz


Design, Build, and Remodel Services

Expert designs and building services for small and large remodeling projects 5 / Living Lavishly 960 W. Grand Ave., Ste. K, Grover Beach, CA 93433 805.904.6435 · Lic # B1066889


Mari Robeson

Molly O’Brien is a proud Cal Poly journalism alumna who’s

Mari Robeson has over fifteen years in the interior design

currently working as a Los Angeles-based freelance travel

and home decor business. She has designed dozens of

writer for a number of outlets including The Washington

homes and commercial businesses on the Central Coast.

Post, Travel + Leisure, Business Insider, Fodor’s Travel,

She also designs products for the home decor industry

Lonely Planet, and Bloomberg as well as her own travel

and has worked with several international companies

website, She frequently returns

such as Pottery Barn & Williams-Sonoma. In addition she

to the Central Coast to enjoy the friendly, community

is a writer, artist and YouTube podcaster.

feeling atmosphere and endless outdoor activities. In

town, you’ll most likely find her parked at a San Luis Obispo coffee shop for hours while working on an article, scoping out a wine or brewery tasting, or on a hike somewhere with an ocean view.

Chanel Jensen Chanel Jensen graduated from Cal Poly SLO in 2019 with a degree in agricultural communications. She currently

Charlotte Ross

lives in San Luis Obispo, working in the wine industry

Charlotte Ross is a Central Coast local and a Cal Poly

the western and/or equine industries. She is passionate

alumnus. She recently earned her bachelor of science

about horses, and jumps at the opportunity to work with

degree in journalism with dual minors in Spanish and

them whenever she can. She enjoys road trips, hiking,

wildlife conservation biology. She enjoys writing,

spending time with animals, creating art, reading, and

spending time outdoors, and doing arts and crafts. You

drinking local wine! You can connect with her at

can check out more of her work at simply because.home. or via her LinkedIn.

and as a freelance writer. Chanel is pursuing a career in

blog, connect with her on LinkedIn, or follow her earring account @lobos_earrings on Instagram.

David Lalush

Kaela Hoisch

As an Architectural Photographer, David has photographed

Kaela Hoisch is pursuing a degree in communication

California. David lives in San Luis Obispo with his wife,

studies with a minor in graphic communication at Cal

son, and daughter enjoying everything that the Central

Poly San Luis Obispo. When she’s not studying, she’s

Coast has to offer.

countless buildings and homes for clients all over

constantly on the lookout for songs to add to her playlists and endlessly searching for the best iced vanilla latte in | 805.242.3234

the county.

@lalushphoto on Instagram

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Around the Home

Garden Guide

Architectural Trends on the Central Coast


What’s in Season?


The Magic of Moving 27 Objects


Our Native Plants


6 Steps to Designing Your Outdoor Sanctuary


Indoor House Plants


Color Combinations for Spring


Home Design Guide: Trends on the Central Coast

Q&A: Newlyweds Build a Charming Greenhouse



Fabric Trends & DIY Inspiration


Making Your Small Backyard Look Larger


Paint Colors & Patterns for Your Kids Rooms



In the Kitchen The Story of a Local Chef


Featured Recipes


The Perfect Pantry



Inspired by Life


Tiny House Living


The Story of a Local Artist


The Perfect Picnic


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Hidden Gems Editor’s Picks







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615 Clarion Ct. #2 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Phone (805) 543-6397

Spring / Summer 2021 PUBLISHERS


Bret Colhouer | Lani Colhouer | David Diaz


Molly O’Brien

Bryan Kirkpatrick Maddison Stevens Tina Mitchell



Emilia Bollini

Kelley Braga


PHOTOGRAPHERS David Lalush Mary Lagier CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Andrew Goodwin Camay Arad Chanel Jensen Charlotte Ross

Courtney Coleman Jill Hammond Kaela Hoisch Kean McCabe Molly O’Brien Maddison Stevens Mari Robeson Megan Knight

Recycling Note This magazine is 100% recyclable. It can be put in blue recycling bins, dropped off at the SLO County Library (if this issue is less than a year old), or even mailed to, which distributes old magazines to children, teens and adults who are at risk of illiteracy.

Advertise With Us! Complete details regarding advertising rates, space, sizes, circulation, coverage and similar information are available to prospective advertisers. Please call or email for more information. This is a publication of Simply Clear Marketing, Inc., Copyright 2007-2021 all rights reserved. One free copy per person. Additional copies can be obtained at our offices at 615 Clarion Court, #2, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93401. Simply Clear Marketing makes every reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy of its contents. Please notify us if information is incorrect.


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@LivingLavishlyMag | @SimplyClearMarketing | @InspiredExpos

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Gold Sponsors

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The AIA CCC would like to also thank the following sponsors for making the awards a possibility.

Silver Sponsors

Andrew Goodwin Designs Studio 101 West Photography


By American Institute of Architects California Central Coast || 2020 AIA CCC Design Awards

bracket architecture

• As most of the existing masonry was of good quality and condition, the vast majority was left in place, cleaned,

1085 Higuera

and repointed if needed. The concealed chevron masonry pilasters were surprisingly damaged following their excavation. Beyond the opportunity for repair, they

San Luis Obispo, CA Photographer: 11th Street Studio

were instead encased in board formed concrete using torched and wire-brushed reusable cedar formwork. • Rich, deep profile Kebony* wood melsomslat was

Originally built as a brick and glass bowling alley, 1085 Higuera

installed vertically at light-frame portions of the building to contrast the horizontality of the unit masonry.

changed tenants more than

• Aged aluminum storefronts were replaced with steel

once, over the years — and

sash windows reminiscent of mature downtown San Luis

was eventually mutilated by

Obispo buildings.

years of redecoration and the whims of cheap retail trends. Transforming this once simple box into a forward-looking urban

• A plate aluminum monument redefines the corner entry to the site and street front suite, while steel channel awnings offer deep shading to the broad fenestration.

anchor required scraping away

*Kebony is a proprietary environmentally friendly treatment

the inessential, and implementing

process that converts softwoods such as pine to perform

authentic material solutions.

similarly to hard woods.

13 / Living Lavishly

Andrew Goodwin Designs

Situated on the knoll of a hill overlooking the El Pomar Region of Templeton and Paso Robles, this new single-family residence was designed to savor the

El Pomar Residence Templeton, CA Photographer: David Lalush Photography

beauty of the region while blending indoor and outdoor living. The El Pomar Residence is a four-bedroom, three-bathroom, 2,800 square foot residence designed in a mix of Bauhaus and Mid-Century Modern. It has a detached carport, pool, and a 1,000 square foot guest house, all which occupy the top of the hill and complete this expertly designed rural compound. Ultimately, the functionality and aesthetics of the home were at the forefront of the design. Though the home was designed to be passively cooled, powered by the sun with photovoltaics, and harvest rainwater and greywater for irrigation, the most sustainable aspect of the design is how there is no space in the home the owners don’t use. Function allows for the form to interpret what the environment is telling the home about its design – and the ambiance created definitely shoulders this claim.

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Andrew Goodwin Designs

The client was tested by not having a significant budget and having a space that was too small to allow for customers to eat and drink inside. The Creamery

Active Coffee Co San Luis Obispo, CA Photographer: Bryan Shield / AGD

offers multiple outdoor seating opportunities, so the design team’s main task was to inspire a great experience inside the shop to reflect the brand. The main design feature that made this space the clean and contemporary design it is today was the marble countertop with a waterfall edge. This countertop was designed to hide the equipment and mess of the prep area, while also reflecting the white and black features of the interior. The space’s

Located in The Creamery in San Luis Obispo, Active Coffee Co.

walls and ceiling were painted black to bring the visitors focus to the white elements while also making the space seem larger.

is a 420 square-foot coffee shop

Ultimately, this small space reflects the brand of the coffee shop while also

that was designed as a clean and

being one of the most contemporary designs of any coffee shop on the Central

contemporary space to reflect a

Coast. It has been an Instagram success and allowed for more and more people

new brand of coffee in the region.

to “Drink with Company.”

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Studio 2G Architects

See Canyon Remodel Avila Valley, CA Photographer: David Lalush Photography

This 1960s rustic beach house was transformed into a

The structure was installed on the interior of the existing

more modern, Net Zero design. The project, located on

walls, and reused the exact same slab from the existing

a twisting road in the San Luis Obispo countryside, was

home. The entire south facade is made of glass with

modified to create a master suite, an open kitchen, and

pockets created in the glazing wall for the roof beams

an adjacent space nicknamed the “morning room”. The

to penetrate through. This creates the large 5’ overhang

design goal of the remodel was to maintain the bohemian

which protects the path to the entryway along with

vibe while modernizing the structure.

shade in the summertime while allowing the sun to warm the structure during the winter. The roof is SIP panels installed on top of the structure.

Arris Studio Architects

Petaluma Hotel Petaluma, CA Photographer: Owner provided.

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The Petaluma Silk Mill is a local and national historic

This project strives to be as environmentally sensitive as

landmark. The original Mill building was constructed in

possible. Beyond the green-building benefits of adaptive

1892 and is currently the sole remaining industrial-era

reusing the existing structure, the group has also

brick mill building in the Bay Area. Listed on the National

incorporated water and energy conservation strategies.

Landmark of Historic Places, this project proposed

The goal is to create a lasting legacy that will be a benefit

an adaptive reuse of the existing mill building into a

not only to the guests of the hotel, but to the whole

75-guestroom Hampton Inn Hotel with a restaurant and

community and industrial history.

numerous additional guest amenities.

Arris Studio Architects

This project is a restoration and remodel of the Historic Leitcher apartment building located in downtown San Luis Obispo, California. The historical

Leitcher House

renovation included the removal of several non-historical additions to the original building and the restoration of the wrap around porch. There are two hotel rooms on the ground floor, a hotel suite on the second floor and

San Luis Obispo, CA Photographer: David Lalush Photography

a residential unit on the third floor. The design goal was to restore an old charm in a new context without losing its original integrity. This project is part of an overall mixed-use project and is the focal point of the development. Construction was completed in the summer of 2018.

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garcia architecture + design

Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO) recently completed construction of their highly anticipated Homeless Services Center

40 Prado Homeless Shelter

facility in San Luis Obispo, California. Located on vacant property at 40 Prado Road, the project was initially proposed for another site a few blocks away on county-owned land that was to be donated for the construction of a two-story facility. However, due to neighborhood concerns and the politically polarizing nature of homeless shelters, an alternate site had to be identified that was

San Luis Obispo, CA

essentially devoid of any adjacent development.

Photographer: Studio 101 West/ Dennis Swanson

The new Homeless Services Center at 40 Prado consists of a single-story building of approximately 20,000 square feet, which provides comprehensive support services for individuals and families dealing with homelessness in San Luis Obispo County. This new facility replaces and consolidates three existing and outdated homeless facilities run by CAPSLO throughout the city, and houses all homeless services under one roof. The center’s prime mission to provide overnight accommodations is achieved via separate and discrete dormitories for women and men, as well as a separate family and children’s wing. Total capacity of the overnight facility can house up to 110 beds, which more than doubles CAPSLO’s current overnight operations. In addition to programming provisions for separate showers, lockers, laundry facilities, commercial kitchen and dining room, and other basic amenities, the design team was challenged to create a facility that was at once welcoming and safe, yet also robust and resilient in both design and materiality.

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M:oME (Tom di Santo, AIA)

concentrated on every last millimeter of the space from the architecture and furniture to even the art that adorns the walls.

Contraband Coffee Bar

The cafe is a tenant improvement of a double height corner unit in a new San Francisco mixed-use structure. The space features tall storefront windows that fill the entire room with natural daylight. The barista counter defines the main spatial divide tucking away back of house uses, leaving an open seating area

San Francisco, CA Photographer: Garry Belinski

that expands out to the storefront on the corner. The seating spills out further onto the sidewalks of Fifth and Clementina to advantage morning light and afternoon sun respectively. The design team worked closely with the fabricators, who used trees that

For the renovation of this coffee bar, the architects teamed up with local fabricators to deliver a warm, colourful, and artistic cafe in the SOMA district of San Francisco. The beautiful intervention extends the idea that Total Design is alive and well, as the design team

had fallen naturally. They milled the trees down to beautiful slabs, working around the dry rot and other damage to the wood to create beautiful live edge communal tables, and smaller intimate tables, and the live edge window bar. This wood was also used to create the espresso maker plinth, the pour over plinth and the slab for the presentation of the finished drinks. This design strategy perfectly exemplifies the notion of Stealth Sustainability, in which the environmentally beneficial characteristics of the pieces are seamlessly embedded into the beauty and function of the design objects and space.

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Ten Over Studio

the lines between indoor and outdoor living space, while a raw, unfinished material palette allows the building to understate its presence in the natural

Pippin Lane Residence (unbuilt)

environment. Building orientation and placement of architectural overhangs allow the southern pool deck to receive maximum solar exposure, view-facing western exterior decks to be protected from the harshest daylight, and interior spaces

Avila Valley, CA Rendering: Ten Over Studio

to remain comfortable with their large southern openings shaded and minimal northern openings free to plentiful provide indirect light. The prefabricated steel structure, made with an average of 70% recycled content and SIP wall panels will shorten the construction schedule on a difficult ridgetop site and

Nestled among the ridge-top oak trees and chaparral of See Canyon,

result in a high-performance building envelope. In addition, PV panels are provided to offset energy costs.

this new residence will encompass

Perforated catwalks and an extremely minimal ground floor footprint elevate

beautiful views of the Avila Valley

the home above, rather than setting it into the natural topography with close

and sit gently within a perch of

attention paid to the height of surrounding tree canopies. This visually and

panoramic landscape. Expansive

physically preserves the unique, highly valued landscape while capitalizing on

openings take advantage of the

the views, the ancient trees, and the distinctive climate that make this feel like

unique microclimate and blur

such an extraordinary place.

20 / Living Lavishly

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garcia architecture + design

alternative hotel experience to offer his out-of-town clients and colleagues, he envisioned a one-of-a-kind overnight experience that lay at the intersection

Butler Hotel

of technology, design, and luxury. By repurposing yet respecting the existing industrial structure, this new hotel creates a unique visitor opportunity. As guests enter through the historic 1950s façade, they immediately find

San Luis Obispo, CA

themselves in an eclectic-feeling haven infused with industrial yet modern

Studio 101 West / Dennis Swanson

fixtures, and individually curated artwork. The elegantly finished bathrooms

design. Each luxurious guest room features lush carpeting, custom lighting include floor-to-ceiling porcelain tile and custom marble + walnut counters, and modern yet eco-friendly lighting and plumbing fixtures. From the custom

After sitting vacant for years, a local

hand-crafted case goods designed and built in-house, to the individually carved

businessman saw the potential

“Do-Not-Disturb” walnut/maple placards, no small detail was overlooked. The

that lay hidden within the shell of

design team even hand-picked the linens, duvets, pillows, and all bath amenities

this abandoned, ivy-covered metal

in a deliberate effort to promote an image of unified design consciousness, while

and steel building. Looking for an

providing a memorable and lasting hospitality experience in San Luis Obispo.

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Ten Over Studio

commercial space at street level, and a secure public safety building. The RFP requested two distinct, but visually cohesive landmark buildings

Palo Alto Civic Center (unbuilt)

served by completely underground parking. Scheduling and budget requirements, however, demanded an innovative solution. This led to a concept with parking located on the upper levels of a commercial podium, connected directly to the public safety building with an iconic bridge hovering over Birch

Palo Alto, CA Rendering: Ten Over Studio

St. This modified strategy preserves easy access to all elements of the building, presents the large amount of required parking as an attractive feature of the architecture, and drastically reduces cost and timeline. The design proposes a simple, layered structure as a framework to use common

The Palo Alto Public Safety

materials in innovative ways throughout. Varying densities of wood slats

Building and Garage works to

control levels of privacy and solar protection on façades. Landscape treatment

balance significant technical,

at street level reflects architectural moves in the parking structure ramps

security, programmatic, and

and floor plans, while providing required protection for the public safety

budgetary requirements with

building. Finally, fields of PV panels hover over the rooftop parking generating

structural simplicity and a clear

power, providing necessary shade, and continuing a cohesive, visually layered

architectural language. The

architecture. The project successfully provides Palo Alto with a refined and

competition proposal comprises

secure public safety headquarters while preserving crucial street life in a

two primary buildings — a public

central area of town through an architectural design that achieves a required

facing parking garage with large

complexity through its innovative simplicity.

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garcia architecture + design

sustainable development to a wider market, while helping the city achieve necessary state housing requirements, via smart-growth, in-fill development.

Bridge Street Lofts

These compact work+live residential units attempt to address crucial issues of housing, development, and the environment while creating a project that expresses a collective moment in history. As a direct response to these pressing issues, the

San Luis Obispo, CA

design team created a project that is comprised of modern, eco-oriented compact

Studio 101 West / Dennis Swanson

modern conveniences we have all come to appreciate and expect.

units that will save money through low life-cycle costs, without sacrificing the

The Bridge Street Lofts showcase modern + industrial materials, both inside The Bridge Street Lofts are part of a comprehensive new neighborhood plan for a combined live/work, mixed-use, workforce housing community that is both environmentally friendly and affordable. The intent of the Bridge Street Lofts project is to bring

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and out. Large south-facing fenestration in the open living spaces bring in natural light and air while allowing occupants to enjoy views of the natural hillside and landscape vistas beyond. Clean and elegant interior finishes in the kitchen, living room and bathrooms add a touch of luxury throughout these spaces. Each loft unit is designed as a condensed, yet efficient machine for living that moves upwards instead of outwards, in a deliberate effort to provide efficient housing while treading lightly on the land it occupies.



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Shift The Energy

Take A Deep Dive

2020 was full of valuable lessons, from learning new ways

Our homes are fluid and evolving just as we are so how do

to use technology to communicate, to revamping our homes

we keep our home fresh and reflective of that?

to fit our new ‘Stay at Home’ lifestyle. The ‘new normal’ of our multi-tasking interiors can prove to be a little

Begin by setting aside a weekend to do a deep dive. This

challenging but here are a few ideas to help shift the energy

means picking a room and clearing it out completely. In

in your home to make this year your best year ever.

doing so you will go through all the items in the room. Designate a container for items to Keep, Donate, or Trash.

So why is it important to take some time out of our already

Now that you have a clean slate it’s easier to think about

hectic schedules to do a deep dive into the function and

the function of the room. Do you need a space to write,

beauty of our homes? Does the look of our interiors have

create art, watch TV, etc? Create zones in the room for

any effect on how we raise our kids or do our work? Clearly,

each function. Set an intention for how you want the space

for all of us who have been intimately reacquainted with

to feel and then begin putting back the items that you value

our homes this past year, the answer is YES.

and deem important. I promise you, your new space will feel incredible for the months to come. You will enjoy being

Every Object Is A Choice Every item we place in our home is a choice we make. We either place it there for a function it will provide or we place it there as something we enjoy looking at. It is a series of choices that we see when we walk in the front door. Each item is a clue as to what our values are and what we think is important. For instance, perhaps you value original art. You may enjoy begin surrounded by beauty, supporting the Arts, and therefore believe it to be important. Collecting art and displaying it creatively in your home makes it easy to see your personality and what your values are. Your visitors have a clear idea of the type of person who lives there.

Know When To Let Go However, people change over time. The books that you purchased for the course you studied may not be of value to you anymore and would perhaps serve another better if they were donated. Things that we no longer enjoy or need are like little weights we put around our ankles. Let them go.

in your home so much more because you took the time to shift the energy.

The Magic Number Recommended By Feng Shui Masters If clearing out an entire room sounds too daunting a task, you can start with the ‘Magic of Moving 27 Items’. This is an ancient Feng Shui technique. Even just moving a few objects around in your space will help get the energy flowing but 27 is the number recommended by Feng Shui masters. Nine is considered to be an auspicious number and 27 is the multiple of 9 x 3 and for those of you who love numerology, 2 + 7 adds up to 9. How things are organized, or lack organization, also says something about the individual that lives there. A cluttered home can often make it hard to concentrate, whereas a home that has order, makes living much more enjoyable. Go big and clean out the entire room or use the magic of moving 27 items, either way you’ll benefit from the new energy flow in your home.

Written & Illustrated By Mari27 Robeson / Living Lavishly

6 Steps to Designing

YOUR OWN OUTDOOR SANCTUARY By Megan Knight Photos Courtesy of Madrone Landscapes

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orking remotely or at the office, most people spend a lot of time staring at a computer screen, stressed about deadlines and silently willing the weekend to arrive sooner. For the foreseeable

future, we have to seek stress release in isolation, when we’d rather be meeting friends for dinner at our favorite restaurant — or singing along at a concert with a hundred other fans. Instead, we’re at home, either finally cleaning out the junk drawer in the kitchen, finding new hobbies to master, or DIY projects to conquer – anything to take our minds off the sense of being stuck inside our homes. Therefore, there’s no reason we can’t transform the spaces within our homes, into personal sanctuaries. So — when you close your eyes and imagine escaping to a place that brings you peace – where do you go? How about relaxing in your own backyard? Let’s explore some of the elements that can help elevate our yards into a place where we can escape.

1. Seating Nothing beats collapsing into a comfy chair and kicking your feet up after a long day. Whether it’s lounge seating, or a dining arrangement, spaces made for relaxing must have proper seating. To make your seating area more inviting, first you must find a set focal point. Some yards are open, and have an ocean view or vista that they can enjoy. These viewing areas are a perfect place to position lounge seating. However, if the yard is enclosed and without impressive views, you can easily create a focal point yourself, by using strategically placed plants and hardscape details. For example, if you want to seat a large group — arrange seating around a fire pit. This brings everyone’s focus inward, and the people you’re with become the center of attention. Another example would be setting up lounge furniture that faces a water feature that’s surrounded by potted plants. When space is limited, you can build in integrated seating such as seat walls or bench planters.

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2. Plants

3. Lighting

It might seem obvious, but greenery and live plant

Once the sun sets, lighting is essential to the functionality

materials are vital to creating a calming, outdoor oasis.

and ambiance of a space. When done correctly, lighting

Seeing plants and flowers, whether it’s indoors or outdoors,

can completely change the mood of your space. First, and

is a peaceful activity that distracts the mind from worrying.

foremost, lighting should provide safety. Stairs and

It encourages living in the present moment and engages

precarious edges of patios are especially important to

the senses to ease tension and stress.

offer bright and direct lighting.

Some plants offer pleasant scents, or the sound of rustling

Second, lighting should define the boundaries of your

leaves when the wind blows. Others have tactile features

space. Illuminating features such as boulders or trees at

— such as velvety leaves or textured bark. There are

the perimeter of your yard is not only pleasant to look, it

endless combinations to utilize plants that will enhance

also subconsciously instills a sense of security.

the desired feel of a space.

Third, create the feeling of a warmth within a room by

Some of our favorite plants are jasmine and sage – known

illuminating trees, bushes, pergolas, and fences that will

for their pleasant fragrance – and sycamores and London

serve as walls. Lighting a few select features will cause

planes – known for their unique sound and movement. To

your mind to connect the dots and sense the geometry of

add texture, we recommend Artemesia and Pennisetum

a room you have created.

for their soft feel, and the barks of oaks and manzanitas add a more tactile experience. Whether these plants are potted, or in the ground, “greening up” your space is a key element of soothing your surroundings.

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4. Water Features

5. Nooks and Cozy Corners

Studies have proven that simply being near water can

When you’re searching for a place to relax, creating

make you happier and less stressed. While not everyone

intimate nooks or vignettes, especially with seating, is

can take advantage of living seaside, we can recreate the

a great way to give yourself a quiet place to hide away.

soothing effect water has on the mind by implementing

There is a sense of relief that comes with feeling like you

water features in an outdoor landscape.

are in a protected little corner of the world, especially

Core-drilled boulder fountains are one of our favorites, since they fit seamlessly into the natural, native aesthetic

when it’s set in a familiar atmosphere such as your own backyard.

we often find ourselves designing. Boulder fountains offer

These special spaces are the perfect place to give some

a subtle, bubbling effect and don’t require the same level

extra attention. Enhancing these spaces or even creating

of maintenance as a traditional fountain since they are

them from scratch can be as simple as adding intentional

pondless, which means their recirculating reservoir sits

seating in a sheltered corner of the yard, or growing some

below ground.

plants over an arbor and adding a bench below.

If you’re not seeking subtlety, there are other ways to

Sometimes, however, these unique places don’t necessarily

make your water feature a more significant part of the

have to be tucked away in a corner. They can be out in the

landscape. Architecturally integrated water walls are a

open – such as a swing hanging from a tree, or Adirondack

unique feature that can enhance the architectural aesthetic

chairs amid a tall, grassy meadow. The key is to find the

of a structure. Standalone ponds can also offer a tranquil

spaces where you feel the most at ease, and add them in a

oasis without much-added noise, while waterfalls and

way that makes them more private and cozy.

spouted fountains can provide white noise, which also has a calming effect.

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6. Useable Features What does your yard need to draw you outside and make use of it? This question is essential when going

Residential, Commercial, New Build, Remodel and Repair

A Full Sevice Drywall Contractor

through the landscape design process, because “destination” features throughout landscapes are what move people through the space with purpose. While making spaces look beautiful is always part of the goal, making them usable is just as important. For example, cooking usually takes place inside and sometimes feels like a chore — but, placing an outdoor kitchen into your backyard getaway can make cooking for the family more enjoyable feel. Even if it’s just a grill with added counter space, outdoor kitchens are convenient and useful for any occasion. Fire features are another useful, popular request. Just as humans are attracted to water, they are attracted to fire. There are various firepit shapes,

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fuel types, and styles for every kind of space. A small, wood-burning pit is rustic, and offers the nostalgia of sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows. More modern fire bowls fit a different aesthetic and

Megan Knight is a landscape designer and Cal

provide the same amount of warmth and coziness as a

Poly Landscape Architecture alumnus. While

real flame, without the presence of smoke.

she was in school, she traveled to Australia to

Other worthy features for your backyard oasis might be designated spaces for games such as a bocce court, horseshoe rings, or open lawn — or more stylized areas for reflection, such as labyrinths or reflexology paths.

further study one of her favorite subjects: coastal ecologies and their adjacent marine ecosystems. After graduation, she took root at Madrone Landscapes, where she enjoys the challenge of creatively and sustainably bringing people and their environments together. In her spare time, Megan enjoys going to the dog beach with her

Whatever you enjoy doing, explore how you can give yourself a special space to do it outside!

husband, Damien, and their rescue dog, Lily, and spending time with her family and friends. For more information, visit or call (805) 466-6263.

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Color Combinations for Spring By Kaela Hoisch

The psychology of color is powerful — people’s perceptions of various combinations of color hues can have a strong impact on everything from their thoughts, to their emotions, to their appetite, to their energy levels. Here’s how to pair some of this year’s trendiest color combinations and harness the best of what 2021 has to offer, simply by design.

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The Classic Combo: Black, White, & Gold

There’s nothing quite as dynamic and cohesive as a neutral color palette. Black, white, and some varying shades of gray can create the perfect, modern space that exudes a calm energy. Add some gold — and the result is a classy, sophisticated space perfect for any occasion. Gold is a great introductory accent color for both the expert and amateur designer. When collecting gold pieces for a room, it’s important to pay attention to hues. Vastly different hues of gold will clash. Pairing metallic golds with warm, deeper-toned neutrals is an optimal way to brighten up a space without coming across as obtrusive. Using gold hardware can also be a subtle way to utilize an accent color. But beware, too much gold can become overwhelming. Look for gold picture frames, mirrors with gold trims, and small knick knacks to add around the room. Accents can make the biggest difference! This includes gold candle holders, trays, pots, and lamps which can be the perfect accented addition to any neutral space. For example, try pairing a gold picture frame with a black and white photograph. Remember that gold is the accent color —so it’s important to intentionally spread out any uses of this color so it doesn’t overpower the neutrals.

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Professional Eco-Friendly Cleaning, Green Living Consultations Home and small business services We provide high quality, safe and effective cleaning products and follow all CDC guidelines and procedures. 36 805-249-3816 / Living Lavishly | |

Marigold & Blue

Marigold is one of Pantone’s 2021 spring colors. It’s defined as “a comforting gold orange infused yellow” that lends a warming presence. It’s the perfect vibrant color to pair with both warm and deep hued tones. Due to its varying shades and characteristically versatile nature, Marigold pairs nicely with many different shades of blue, in particular, French Blue, which is another pick from Pantone for their 2021 palette. When two complementary colors are used together, the contrast can be jarring. To avoid an overwhelming palette, play around with different shades of each color. For example, if you’re using a bright, bold shade of marigold as the main color of a room, pair it with a lighter blue to allow for the orange-yellow to truly pop. If brighter shades of marigold are too overwhelming, try pairing a less intense shade of marigold with a rich or navy blue. If Pantone’s 2021 colors are calling your name, consider adding a third accent color to break up the bold energy. Varying shades of yellows, greens, and warmer toned neutrals can be great additional colors to this palette. To add some life into the room, try adding a bouquet of marigolds in a central part of the room.

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Earth Tones

If quarantine has taught us anything about our homes, it’s the importance of providing ourselves with a welcoming and cozy space to spend our time indoors. What better way to create a comforting living space than to bring the colors of nature inside? Earth tones can create a soothing and versatile atmosphere, but it’s important to use this palette in a space with a lot of light. Working with a palette based on the colors of nature can quickly turn dark and moody, but utilizing a room with an abundance of light is the perfect way to keep the space soft and calm. To start building this palette, pay attention to the tones of wood already present in the space. For example, light, cooltoned woods pair nicely with duller, cool-toned greens. Wood accents can also be an optimal use of bringing in other earthy tones without introducing too many colors at once. Picture frames, accent tables, and chairs are all options to utilize wood as an accent. Sticking with cool neutrals, such as whites and grays, are suitable complimentary colors to use with more pronounced earth tone colors. Try playing around with accent pillows of two or three of the differing colors in your palette. And if we’re going to talk about truly “bringing nature inside,” we might as well suggest bringing actual plants into the indoor space. Not only will greenery add dimension — it will also help to offer a combination of organic colors from nature without requiring too much effort.

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3 DESIGN TIPS TO ACHIEVE YOUR DREAM SPACE 1. Plan your vision Diving into an interior design project can be difficult for someone who has never done it before. However, with proper planning, keen attention to detail, and an eye for design, transforming a living space can be a fun and rewarding experience. Knowing your favored color palettes, styles, and furniture pieces are all key elements to crafting your vision.

2. Quality comes first Your home is an investment, so it’s encouraged to consider quality before anything else. Many people attribute quality to high expenses, however, it doesn’t have to be. Quality can come from unique combinations and a variety of trade source options — all of which a professional interior designer has access to.

3. Express yourself Your vision is unique to you, so it’s important to feel that your new living space expresses who you are. When it comes to expressing yourself through interior design, the details matter; decorations, lighting, measurements, furniture pieces, and color combinations are all factors to consider. Hiring a professional interior designer can help alleviate the stress of a project while also helping you achieve the living space of your dreams.

Chic Interiors is a leading interior design company on the Central Coast of California. Chic Interiors serves all home design needs including furniture, lighting, art, draperies, and that perfect finishing touch.


122 E. Branch St. Arroyo Grande, CA 93420 805-474-7070

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HOME DESIGN GUIDE 40 / Living Lavishly

Photo courtesy of Currey & Company at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Trends on the Central Coast Innovations in plumbing, lighting and appliances have taken the stage in the home trend industry, especially with more time spent at home. Whether it be era-inspired themes, the latest and greatest in technology, or striking color palettes, one thing is certain — curating a home is a unique and personal experience. We hope you find inspiration in our design trend guide, brought to you by product experts, industry influencers, style icons, and leading market research.

Photo courtesy of Park Harbor at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery 41 / Living Lavishly

A Study in Blue

Not only does blue pair well with nearly every other color, but its various hues can help create a calming serene environment.

Photo courtesy of Signature Hardware at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of Thermador at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

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Photo courtesy of Park Harbor at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of Signature Hardware at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of Crystorama at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Duo of the Year: Nature & Texture

Utilize fixtures that feature rough tree bark, cold hard stone and lively green grass to create a space that’s as close to being one with nature as possible without living in the forest. Photo courtesy of Capital Lighting at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

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Photo courtesy of James Martin Vanities at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Industrial Refinement

Industrial style isn’t limited to renovated bachelor lofts. Use rustic materials, worn finishes and warm, neutral tones to create an area that maintains its natural identity while incorporating an industrial feel.

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Photo courtesy of Brizo at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Perfectly Paired

Diamonds and pearls, linen and lace, strawberries and champagne. Much like the products seen here, some things just go together naturally. Photo courtesy of DORNBRACHT CL. at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery


Photo (1) courtesy of KICHLER, (2) courtesy of Bertazzoni, (3) courtesy of KICHLER at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery



Photo courtesy of Signature Hardware at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery 45

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Roaring 2020s

Ring in the decade with new plumbing, lighting fixtures and appliances that harken back to an era of celebration, glitz and glamour.

Photo courtesy of MOEN at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

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Photo courtesy of DXV at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of Park Harbor at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of Graff at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of Monogram at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Simply Stunning Plain doesn’t mean boring, and clean doesn’t mean sterile. Sometimes, simplicity is all you need in a space. Make the most of your space with a select number of uncomplicated fixtures and appliances.

Photo courtesy of BEST at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

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Photo courtesy of Varaluz at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Tropical Tangent

Feel that? That’s the peaceful warm breeze of paradise, and you can bring it home with a variety of naturally alluring fixtures and appliances.

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Photo courtesy of Signature Hardware at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of Park Harbor at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of Native Trails at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Vibrant Eclecticism

Your taste isn’t limited to one specific style. Instead, you borrow from many regions, eras and fashions to create something truly you and truly unique. Photo courtesy of Kohler at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of Generation Lighting at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Photo courtesy of Delta at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery Photo courtesy of Kalco at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

Photo courtesy of Jennair 36 at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery

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In 2021, the importance of fabric continues to take center stage in our daily lives whether it be in the form of drapes, towels, blankets, leggings or a tiny mask. The accelerated interest and demand for all things home has inspired our design team to come up with some simple DIY projects and ways to refresh your surroundings with trending colors while staying uniquely you! A new year always generates a special type of excitement for the home fashion industry. Design influencers and paint companies scramble to predict the colors that will guide and inspire consumers to replicate in their homes. As a designer, it always amuses me to observe the predictions and ponder which will resonate with our diverse Central Coast homeowners or which colors will be just a blip on the radar. One of the easiest ways to drill down to what makes your heart sing and to begin the refresh process is to find inspiration fabrics that express your tastes and color choices. From this launching pad, it can be easy to assemble paint colors, counter and flooring options.

Our winning inspiration fabric for Spring 2021 is Mudan Blush from PKLifestyles. This pattern has a gentle Asian-inspired motif yet can transition to a solid traditional look. Through the wonderful color possibilities, this fabric can be formalized through the use of velvets and textures or be made more “cottagey” by adding checks and linens.

Mudan-Blush Fabric

What is especially interesting about this fabric is that almost every woman who has entered our store and seen the bedding ensemble or the upholstered panel has commented that though they love it, their husbands would never accept pink. That’s when we pull out more masculine coordinate — deep chocolate browns, golds and tweed and voila – a whole new interpretation.

Alexa Headboard (Classique–Mouse) with Mudan Body Pillow

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Though I usually favor bold colors, the warm muted tonesjust drew me in. I started by switching out the slipcover on the Chameleon Fine Furniture Kendall Midsize sofa and dressing it in an ivory washable fabric.

Bowdoin - Tweed and Crypton Aria Chocolate


Jack Handley Construction has over 20 years experience on the Central Coast - Our dream, is to make your building dreams come true. CONTACT US FOR YOUR FREE IN-HOME CONSULTATION! COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL


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Kitchens - Bathrooms - Remodels - ADUs - Custom Homes

How to Create Your Own Upholstered DIY Panel

Supplies · 2.75 yards of decorator fabric 54” wide · 2.75 yards of 1”x 54” wide bonded dacron batting · 1 sheet of 4 ft x 8 ft x 1 in thick insulation · Stapler Making a Upholstered DIY panel can be easy using a 1” thick insulation board (4 ft x 8 ft) from any home improvement store. My preference is the “Foamular” brand but any other insulation board will work also. The beauty of using these boards is that they can be cut to desired size or shape with a serrated knife — no need to bring out power tools! Now, begin making your upholstered “sandwich.” Lay your selected fabric wrong side up on a flat surface. Spread a layer of 54” wide bonded batting then layer with the insulation material. Use a regular stapler to fold and stretch the fabric evenly around the edges. If something is not pulled evenly or tautly enough, these staples are easily removed to reposition the fabric. Because the insulation material is so lightweight, you have many options when mounting the panel or headboard: Command hanging strips, Velcro, or simple finishing nails. For finishing and the total “refresh,” accessorize your project with accent pillows, a bed scarf, table runners and more!

Camay Arad is the owner and creator of the fun and practical Chameleon Style® Design Method and Chameleon Fine Furniture. The Chameleon Style store is located in Grover Beach, California and is home to the factory, workshop and retail showroom.

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Since the onset of COVID-19, we’ve all been hearing a lot about the importance of indoor air quality. One of the top ways to improve your indoor air quality is through Ultraviolet (UV) Lighting, Filtration, and clean ductwork (your environment’s indoor air distribution system). At Wighton’s Heating & Air Conditioning, we’ve been helping homes & businesses improve their indoor air quality for over 60 years. Since we’re all spending more time indoors, and working to prevent the spread of airborne viruses, we’ve put together this report to help you learn more about improving your indoor air quality.

The truth about indoor air quality….

It’s in the AIR You Breathe!

1. Critters: Dirt, mold, bugs, mites, and other “stuff” are all living in your duct system. The peskiest are Dust Mites. For creatures you can’t even see, dust mites can stir up a lot of trouble. About 20 million Americans are allergic to these little bugs. You may feel as if you have an endless cold or even asthma.

Your Home CAN Make You Sick:

2. Mold (Bacteria):

There are many cities throughout the world that have become grossly polluted – but most people don’t think about the pollution

Homes now retain more humidity

that can be occurring right inside their home, no matter WHERE

and airborne pollutants, which

you live! Your health can be severely affected by particulates

cause longer life-spans and more

and biological matter that you may be breathing…without even

productive cycles of microbial activity

knowing it. Here are 2 things you need to be aware of when

within the home, such as mold,

checking your home’s air system:

germs, bacteria and viruses.

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5 Ways to Clean the Indoor Air in your Home or Office

many airborne viruses & bacteria are also eliminated with U.V. technology. An Ultraviolet Light Air Scrubber mounted in your supply ductwork kills nearly 100% of airborne viruses & bacteria!

1) Clean or Replace Your Ducts:

3) Install a High-Efficient Air Filter Cabinet:

The ductwork in your home or office distributes all of the air

Most heating and cooling systems still use a basic air filter in

for your indoor environment. According to the largest flexible

the return air grille or inside the furnace. These filters were

ductmanufacturer in the United States, all flexible ductwork manufactured prior to 2009 is inferior to today’s flexible ductwork in both strength and insulation value. Nothing is cleaner than

designed to protect the equipment and not the people served by the equipment. However, there are several types of filter cabinets available in various efficiencies that can help you filter the air

brand new ductwork. Daily, Wighton’s Champion Technicians measure high static pressures in undersized ductwork and find many improperly sealed duct joints. Our technicians also find duct layouts that were designed & installed improperly. As a result, the system will perform extremely inefficiently, pull dirty air from

you breathe in your home by removing airborne particulates. If you suffer from allergies, asthma, hay fever or other breathing difficulties, there is a high efficiency filter cabinet than can help you. Wighton’s can even provide you with the same type of air filter used in hospital surgery rooms.

the attic or basement areas of your home, and will not deliver the comfort you expect from your heating and air conditioning system. Contact Wighton’s to find out if your home (or office!) would benefit from duct cleaning or duct replacement.

4) Indoor Moisture Management: Excess moisture can be a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Exhaust ventilation, humidification and de-humidification are all

2) Install a UV Light Air Scrubber:

ways to help manage the indoor moisture of your home or office.

Wighton’s has found the most successful way to eliminate airborne mold spores, viruses, bacteria, and the accumulation

5) Consider the Outside Air:

of mold on AC coil surfaces is with Ultraviolet (U.V.) germicidal lights; originally designed by the US Navy for maintaining the

Most often, the outdoor air on the Central Coast is in the top

air quality in submerged submarines and currently used by

tier of air quality in the nation. Bringing that outdoor air into our

NASA. For most people, the original motivation for installing

homes can work miracles on our health! Fresh air ventilators,

U.V. germicidal lights is to abate indoor air quality complaints

Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERV), and for Commercial HVAC /

and / or allergies. However, they are also pleased to learn that

ducting systems are all great options.

Wighton’s goal is to keep you and your family healthy! We encourage you to have your indoor air quality checked by one of our professional technicians.


(805) 543-4881 |


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Ways to make


Everyone can admit to fantasizing about having an outdoor space that spans more than a couple of yards. If you’re tired of spending hours on Pinterest trying to find any and all DIY’s that can help make your space appear bigger, this is it; we have found the best ways to help you capitalize on the area that you do have, so you can finally achieve the outdoor space of your dreams.

Create Zones

Change Elevation

To create the illusion that you have more space, try

If you don’t have much space on the ground, take your

dividing out distinct areas in your yard. An easy way

landscaping in the vertical direction. Building up is a

to break up an area is to purchase or build your own

great way to optimize your space, and can add depth

garden arbor. Implementing this small change will

to any small area. You can try incorporating this

make it feel as if you’re entering a completely different

technique with raised planter boxes or sunken patio.

backyard. Incorporating winding pathways and areas

This approach will help to move the eye around, giving

for sitting will also make your space feel larger, since

the illusion of more space.

there are divided areas of space.

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Create a Focal Point

Use Plants for Privacy

If your backyard feels as if it’s been thrown together and

When working with a small area, try not to fall short on

doesn’t flow nicely, try creating a focal point. It can be

privacy fencing. This will oftentimes make the space feel

anything from a small water feature, to a tree, or a small

even smaller. Instead, use property lines as an opportunity

seating area. Finding something that centers the backyard

to grow more plants by creating a living fence.

will make it so that it doesn’t feel as cluttered, and can make it feel larger.

Planting hedges or trees can also act as a substitute for building a fence around your property. This strategy will allow your yard to merge visually with your neighbor’s

Dual Purpose Furniture

property, making it feel like your yard is much larger.

When trying to maximize space, it is important to double

Creating a backyard that looks and feels bigger can be

the functionality of the furniture elements. A simple way

achieved with just a few quick changes. There are many

to do this could be by adding furniture that doubles

articles you can either make yourself such as a living

as storage. Ensuring that you are optimizing usage for

fence or dual-use furniture. All enhancements, small and

the things that take up a significant amount of space can

large, can improve the functionality of your backyard so

help remove clutter and make the most of the space that

you and yours can enjoy the great outdoors.

you have available.

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Paint Colors & Patterns for Your Kids’ Rooms By Maddison Stevens Choosing a color scheme for a kid’s room can be a lot of fun, since there will be more than one opportunity to enjoy the creative freedom of design. Whether you are looking for a playful, calm, or neutral color — there are many perfect colors to match your child’s personality. Colors have an enormous impact on our mood and emotions — especially children’s — so when choosing a color scheme, it’s important not to just think about how it will go with other items in the room, but also how the color or pattern may affect your little one’s feelings.

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Buttery Yellow If you want a gender-neutral color, this cheery hue will add warmth and brightness into anyroom. The color yellow is associated with feelings of happiness, cheerfulness, and motivation — making this a great color to aid in achieving a sense of higher concentration and joy. Using a softer hue of yellow creates an easy opportunity to pair the shade with others, and goes well with almost any furniture.

Classic Blue Blue has always been a consistent favorite for kids’ rooms. If you wish to rise above the classic “baby blue” color, try using navy blue instead. Although this is a darker color, it goes well with whites, browns, and other neutrals — giving you the chance to explore fun themes in the room. The color blue is known for decreasing feelings of anxiety and aggression, and lowering blood pressure and heart rate. The soothing effects of a blue room could be exactly what your children need to rid the temper tantrums once and for all.

Hues of Green Green is a great choice for a color that can easily grow with a child as they get older. Soft greens such as sage or seafoam are very relaxing, and can accent other colors well. The color green is calming, making it a great combination with additional comfort colors, like blues.

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Pastel Pink

Soft Lilac

Although it can be typically associated with feminine

Purple pairs well with primary-colored toys, and is a

spaces, this color is dynamic. Since children can quickly

great choice for when you want a feminine color that’s

grow out of this color, try using pink artwork and

not pink. The color purple is often associated with

accessories with a more neutral color. Pink is an inviting

feelings of passion, creativity, wisdom, and spirituality.

and warm color, that has the ability to make rooms feel

This color can be excellent for inspiring sensitivity

more “glam.”

and compassion in children.

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Chalk Paint If you want to try something entirely different, opt for using chalk paint in your kid’s room. This will transform their space into a vast canvas for their creativity to run free — and you won’t ever have to worry about kids painting walls! Chalk paint can be a fun accent in any room, and helps children express their creative side while also giving them a space that is uniquely theirs.

Bold Wallpaper Who doesn’t love a fun, print-filled wallpaper? There is no better place in the house to try out a bold or bright print, than in the kids’ room. Patterns from florals, to bold lines and shapes, or even themed wallpaper can be a fun addition to the

Skeeter Shield

room. Wallpaper can add a youthful flair to your child’s room that can still be sophisticated enough to go with the rest of the house.

A GARDENERS BEST FRIEND Mindfully Made Super Remedies


Using these fun, trending color options in your kids’ rooms will make everyone excited to have a unique place of their own! Being mindful of the color choices in your kids’ room can significantly impact their mood, if done right. When it’s time to give their space an easyrefresh, try using any of these colors for a room they’ll love for years to come.

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M-F: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sat: By Appointment Only Sun: Closed (805) 489-5233 www.house2homeinteriors.org63 / Living Lavishly ~B



TINY HOUSE LIVING ON THE CENTRAL COAST By Molly O’Brien Photos by David Lalush

Learn how one man took the reins of the “Tiny House Boom” on the Central Coast, and founded his own business, marrying this sweeping trend with the practical necessities of on-site ADUs.

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Joseph Pollon has been a builder and a creator since he

houses is that they tend to be narrow and they have lofts.

was just a kid. After studying economics at UCLA and

Lofts are cute and fun for young people, but it’s tough to

working as an accountant for a year out of college, he

climb a ladder in the middle of the night.”

decided that a career in finance wasn’t his path, and moved back into the construction industry where he’s been working for more than 30 years now. Pollon has worked as a general contractor since 1991, primarily in the business of remodeling. He even built his own family home in 2011. Then, through a work relationship, he discovered the concept of “senior living” — and the

Pollon began searching for ways to build a tiny home that was accessible for seniors, narrow enough to be deposited into a side yard, but which could also expand once on-site to create additional internal space and comfortability. “[It] took a couple years to design and build a prototype,” he says. “I finished building that one in 2018.”

idea of “aging in place.” This pursuit has been his passion

Since then, he’s been building and improving his model

ever since.

unit and trying to perfect it into a space that’s easy to

“We were working with an architect to try to design something that could be easily and quickly erected in the backyard for a senior, without greatly disrupting the property,” he says. “I became aware of the tiny house world…When it comes to seniors, the problem with tiny

open and close, transport, and comfortable for a senior to live in, full-time. Pollon’s long-term objective is to build, own, and rent multiple tiny homes which can be used as temporary senior housing across the Central Coast — and possibly beyond.

Our people know how to translate your ideas & needs into economical, durable, and stylish metal buildings. We design & build steel structures for wineries, other commercial industrial uses, or for that custom home work shop you have always wanted.

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NUNNOSTEEL.COM 805-238-6801

“The average stay in assisted living facilities for seniors is

“[The] biggest hurdle to the tiny home world is ‘where can

about two years, before they often need a higher level of

I park this thing, and legally live in it?,’” he shared. ”You

care,” he says. “In SLO county, the average cost is about

have to have property, and then you’re adding a home onto

$5,500 a month for assisted living. If your parent needs

it — it’s called an ‘accessory dwelling unit,’ or ‘ADU.’ Where

care but they’re not quite ready for assisted living, or

tiny homes have been approved, they’re approved as an

they’re independent but they might need some checking

‘ADU’, so you must have a house there, first.”

in, you could rent a unit from me for a couple years so they could live in the backyard and have their own space, and when they’re done I’ll take it back so you don’t have to spend $5,500 a month.”

Pollon likes the challenge of working in the construction business and the design elements that are factored into each facet of building a tiny home. He works with his clients to get the tiny house of their dreams built in an

His prospective customers can visit his model unit to

average of about four months. Each detail of the house

check it out for themselves in-person, before making

down to the design of the sink fixtures is something he’ll

a decision. Those who are interested in building a tiny

work on with his clients, based on their budget and the

house for any reason to use in their backyard or for their

needs of their home.

own lifestyle purposes should be aware of the legalities that come with the business. On the Central Coast, buyers must be adding the tiny home onto their existing property — it can’t be the sole residence on-site.

“My favorite part of working in this business is creative problem solving.” - Pollon

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“Trying to figure out ‘how to make the thing work’ — how to design a place that fits a person’s needs, and how to get it situated on the property where they can put it and get it connected... It’s figuring out as we go — I have ideas about how things will work — but until you actually do them, it’s learning.” The signature element of his tiny homes is a patented design technology he created which allows the home to slide open and outward, expanding from eight feet to fifteen feet once it’s been deposited in the side yard of its new residence. This would add at least 75 extra square feet to the home’s total interior size upon its expansion. Pollon’s tiny custom built homes start at $85,000, and can serve not only as an ADU for senior housing — but as a space for a variety of functions — from a guest house, to an Airbnb, or even as a backyard office space separate from the house. “The most positive experience throughout this is watching it come together,” says Pollon. “Then, people start using it and love it.”

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Self-Expression Through Color and Oil:

THE STORY OF A LOCAL ARTIST By Charlotte Ross Photos Courtesy of Isabel Mankins

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sport. By senior year, she was recruited by many different universities — but none of them were art academies — so instead, she attended a local community college for a short period. There, she played volleyball while completing her general education courses and eventually met a recruiter who knew of a program starting up at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. “It was a dream come true,” said Mankins, “ I could do both [volleyball and art].” She spent the next four years in San At the age of seven, Isabel Mankins received her first “plein air easel.” Her grandma gave it to her during one of their afternoons together at Laguna Beach saying, “paint what

Francisco at the academy, learning the importance in value of color and self-expression. It was in the city where she developed her bold, colorful style. “Like

you see, Izzy.” And so she did.

most college students, I didn’t get much sleep,” she laughs.

“I loved it. It felt so good and so right,” says Mankins. “From

early for volleyball practice, coming home late, and traveling

that moment, I knew art was my ‘thing’ and I wanted to be a painter.” Each day after, she dreamed of exhibiting her artwork in a gallery or becoming a professional artist, but the only way to do this was to attend an art academy after high school. Mankins’ parents always supported her dream and even suggested she move to a destination like New York City, where the creative energy could inspire her. Her parents helped her as much as they could, but ultimately she paved her own way. From middle school through high school she looked to sports as an outlet to get into a good college, because if she could get an athletic scholarship, she could afford to attend art school. Mankins played volleyball all four years of high school, falling in love with the

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This is because Mankins was working hard — waking up for away games. She had to learn to balance her art projects with her busy schedule, which influenced her to paint more intuitively and expressively, using only the colors that spoke to her in the moment. Her style developed into something she describes

as “expressive realism,” because from afar, her paintings

Francisco, and Skidmore Contemporary Art in Santa

seem realistic — but up close, there’s lots of texture and

Monica. But after a year she was ready to go back to school

exaggerated colors which make them feel more abstract.

and get her master’s in fine art at Laguna College of Art and

She mostly uses oil paint because she says she loves the


“butteryness” of it, and does sculpting for the drastic textures.

During those two years, Mankins wanted to separate her gallery work from her master’s work and challenge herself

While in San Francisco, Mankins began her “female figures

to painting real life subjects while still using female figures

underwater” collection — a series of colorful paintings

as her inspiration. Her sister had recently given birth to a

inspired by the power of the ocean inspired by her younger

baby boy, so she decided to analyze their mother to child

memories of surfing with her father and getting pulled

interaction by visiting sister’s home and setting up a six-

under huge waves. “I loved the thrill and the power of the

by-five-foot canvas to paint her sister while she was nursing.

ocean,” she says, “when you’re floating underwater it is so

The mother to son bond motivated Isabel’s artwork and left

peaceful and calm, but you are surrounded by this powerful

an imprint on her.

force.” The duality of the ocean’s chaos and tranquility is something Mankins tries to portray in her paintings.

Eventually Mankins met her own husband, graduated, and moved to the Central Coast to live in the countryside to

When she graduated from the academy, she took a year

start a family. When she was pregnant with her son, the

off from school to reset. Her underwater paintings became

2020 stay at home orders gave her plenty of free time to

an important part of art exhibits at Chloe Gallery in San

continue working on her art — but since giving birth to a

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healthy baby boy, she’s been forced to shift her routine. She creates limited windows of free time such as naps or paints late into the night. Her paintings now reflect more of an abstract style as she’s moved toward creating intuitively, faster, and in the moment. Motherhood is a priority for Isabel, but she says she will never stop creating. “I am still trying to find the balance between being an artist and a mom, but I give myself patience and take each moment as it goes,” she says. She and her husband plan on expanding their family to eventually include seven children. For now, she continues to be inspired by her surroundings — which consists of the Central Coast’s open space, cows and horses.

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How to Assemble the

PERFECT PICNIC By Jill Hammond Photos by Mike Larson Photography

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No weekend plans? Call up a few friends, grab some picnic fixin’s, load up your tote bags and get outside! First off, there’s truly no right or wrong way to picnic. If there is

The Perfect Picnic Packing List

cheese, happiness will follow. But in the name of goals, why not shoot for the stars and build that dream-worthy picnic that will outshine the rest? When planning for ingredients, think about the audience. Are there vegetarians or vegans in the group? Skip the salami. Gluten-free folks? Opt for rice crackers instead of flatbread crackers. Choose a board wisely to sprawl your ingredients out on — a simple wood cutting board (or two

· Cheese (or Vegan Cheese!) · Cured Meat (or skip it and make it vegetarian-friendly) · Dried Fruit · Fresh, Seasonal Fruit

or three) from the kitchen will do the trick.

· Nuts

Packing for a picnic is an art. How long is the drive or hike?

· Crackers and/or Bread

Ice packs are crucial if there’s cheese and fresh fruit to keep cool and some delicate items will appreciate riding on top to prevent broken crackers or squished bread. Preslice your cheeses so all that needs to be done is the layout and quick curation once you land at your destination. This

· Honey or Jam · Olives or Pickles · Dips and Veggies

is guaranteed to make an impression on the lucky guests.

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An easy way to fill out the board without getting too messy

a well-rounded, colorful, briny appeal. Fill it out with some

with jam or honey is dried fruit. Tuck in some turkish dried

fresh fruit for color and balance - easy fillers are grapes,

apricots, figs or dates to provide a sweet component to the

berries, figs and stone fruit, depending on the season.

board. A perfect picnic is all about texture. Throw in some toasted - or even more decadent - candied nuts to fill out the lineup of flavors and give an added crunch. Don’t forget the most important part! You’ll need (well, not really, but it will help make it last!) some vehicles for the cheese. A seeded crisp is a great go-to for soft cheeses and a flatbread cracker is a nice plain option. I like to arrange the crackers next to the suggested cheese pairing and offer bread as

Arranging the board is all about colors, textures, pairings and flavors. Intertwine all the elements for an eye-catching design that people will be talking about for days to come. Alter between bright colors and subtle colors (a soft white cheese next to green grapes, nestled between bright orange dried apricots is a good start)... but again, it’s going to taste AMAZING no matter what it looks like.

another option. Jam and honey can get sticky, but it’s worth

Don’t forget to pack the necessities: napkins, small plates

it! Bring a jar with a spoon so people can add their own

and a couple of serving knives for the soft cheeses. A

dollop to their plate. Try straight honey or fig, raspberry

couple of blankets to sit on adds a special something, but

or apricot jam with your brie or blue- it’s absolutely dreamy.

the star of the show should always be the cheeseboard.

Adding olives or cornichons to the spread gives the board

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firma And hey, why not push it over the top with a local wine pairing? Tuck in some plastic, stemless wine glasses and toss in a bottle of a favorite white and red. Dig in, soak up the best kind of meal and enjoy the experience — it doesn’t get much better than this.

Jill Hammond has been curating cheese boards and boxes through her side business, Farm and Harvest, since 2018. When Jill’s not busy building boards or packing boxes for clients across SLO County, she spends her days working in marketing and business development at Stepladder Creamery. For more information on boards and boxes, visit or follow her tasty creations on Instagram @farmandharvest

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DIY VS PROFESSIONAL SECURITY SYSTEMS Security is not a one size fits all product. Every home is different, and each end user has different needs and concerns. Here are some things to consider before you decide which type of system is right for you:

DIY Security Systems

Professional Security Systems

· Although convenient and affordable, these systems may end up

· Professional installers are always a phone call away and will have all

with faults in design, resulting in countless hours researching.

of the required training, certifications, licenses and tools needed to get

· DIY systems may not have the amount of technical support needed to troubleshoot unforeseen challenges.

the equipment installed and performing to the best of its ability. · Security companies invest in knowledge. A good security company

· Consumer grade products are often simplified versions of professional grade products, due to the removal of robust features

will always look for the best professional grade product and keep up to date on local building codes and industry standards.

for easier DIY installation and a cheaper price point, and have the

· Professional grade products provide better quality, capability,

potential to open up a level of vulnerability to hackers.

reliability, and functionality and have smarter features for capturing recordings and events.

· Although most DIY systems are wireless, it is easy to underestimate the technical difficulty of programming and Wi-Fi

· Professional grade products last longer and will typically have longer


manufacturer warranties.

· Most DIY security systems need to stay connected to your Wi-Fi

· When you are working with a professional security company, you are

network and have batteries that need to be replaced frequently.

gaining years of experience in developing a professionally designed

· Although quick and easy to set up, be prepared for more frequent

system that is customized to your individual security needs.

ongoing maintenance.

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Living Lavishly Garden Guide G

rab your gardening gloves and pick up that hose — the Living Lavishly Garden Guide

is here to introduce you to new ideas, planting tips, and charming stories here on the Central Coast! We’ve explored the best plants to tend to in your home, plants that are native to our region of California, and so much more. Curious to know what types of fruits and vegetables are in season for the spring and summer months? Look no further. We hope you enjoy learning about the bounty of beauty the Central Coast has to offer — including the seeds, shrubs, and scenery that fill the gaps in between! - Executive Editor Madeline Minas

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What’s in Season? Spring & Summer Edition In California, produce is plentiful. In fact, California’s agricultural abundance includes more than 400 commodities1. Although most produce is available year-round in most grocery stores, nothing beats cooking and preparing with fruits and vegetables during their in-season months. Oftentimes, it can yield richer flavors and a fresher experience! During these bright and sunny months, we hope you seize the opportunity to plant, garden, harvest, or support your local farmer by enjoying the season’s crops. Here’s your guide for what’s in season for spring and summer:


Department of Food and Agriculture. California Agricultural Production Statistics. 2019 Crop Year - Top 10 Commodities for California Agriculture.

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he Central Coast is widely known and appreciated for its beautiful beaches and rolling hills, but what people sometimes

forget is the diverse flora and fauna that make this land so unique. Being part of the California Floristic Province classifies us as a world biodiversity hotspot, due to the variety of plant species that inhabit themselves along the coast. According to Lindsay Best, assistant manager at the Los Osos Valley Nursery, if it weren’t for passionate naturalists in the 1990s setting aside time to protect the green belt that now encompasses San Luis Obispo, the city might now see skyscrapers and homes instead of birds and oak trees...

“I think it’s important that people have an awareness of their natural environment.” - Best “When you start to learn about plants and animals and insects and ecosystems, it creates a connection that I think a lot of people have lost. And when you have that connection, it makes you want to protect things and care for your environment.”

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Which Plants are Central Coast Natives? SLO County is home to close to 400 plants. California has a variety of interesting specialized soils, including clay, the Pleistocene sand dunes, and serpentine, which comes from California’s state rock, serpentinite. Some of the more common and easier to identify plants include Coast live oaks, chaparral yucca, plants of the Coastal Dune scrubs, and plants of the Chaparral community (which include the scratchy, hard scrubs such as the sages, ceanothus, and manzanitas). Two plants endemic to the Central Coast include the rare Morro Manzanita, which only grows on Baywood fine grain sand, and the San Luis Obispo mariposa lily, which often attracts botanists from afar.

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All over San Luis Obispo County locals and visitors alike can find these native plants, especially in some of the more protected areas in Los Osos or Morro Bay. The Montaña de Oro dunes, Coon Creek, Sweet Springs Nature Preserve, and Elfin Forest are great places to look. Some great hikes around the county that showcase these plants also include Laguna Lake, the Irish Hills, Cuesta Ridge Botanical Area, and all the way up into Big Sur. After heavy rainfalls Carrizo Plain can be a great destination for wildflowers. This beautiful national monument garners botanists and tourists from all over to see and photograph the vibrant colors in the Spring.

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Why Are They Important? Most of California’s native plants are drought tolerant, meaning once they have established themselves within a certain area they don’t need supplemental water and they’ll thrive from just soaking up minimal moisture. The scrubs will go into a dormant stage in the late summer then awaken

fascinated by how the plants could be used medicinally by native peoples. She performed a series of informal studies, readings, and guided nature walks to learn more. Some remedies she uses today include a monterey pine salve which is used for rashes or removing splinters, and black sage, which is used for flavor in cooking or in tea for stomach pain.

after rainfall, creating beautiful growth in the winter and late spring. Scrubs are part of the chaparral plant community, and have also adapted to fire which means they utilize resources created by wildfires to revitalize themselves and stimulate reproduction.

Learn More About San Luis Obispo Plant Life

Native plants play a vital role in local ecosystems by

Native plants such as these are vital to the natural world

providing food and shelter for various species of wildlife.

because they benefit and protect animals and humankind,

Many bees, butterflies, insects, birds, and other animals

as well as create beauty in our surroundings.

rely on the production of nectar, pollen, and seeds for food. Without the protection of native plants, these species are threatened by extinction or habitat loss which can impact the entire ecosystem.

For more locally focused resources, check out The California Native Plant Society (San Luis Obispo chapter), the Delphinus School of Natural History, or the Central Coast State Parks Association. A great tool for learning and

Native plants also serve as natural remedies for pain and

identifying native plants or animals on-the-go is the app,

sickness. When Lindsay Best moved to Los Osos she was


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A Lasting Legacy For four generations, the Talley

When it comes to a classic

Family has been growing high

farm-to-table experience, it

quality fruits and vegetables. Oliver

all starts with the farm and the

Talley’s grandchildren and great

history behind it. Founded by

grandchildren are still involved with

Oliver Talley in 1948, Talley Farms

all aspects of the farm. With the

is now a diversified family-owned

creation of the Talley Farms Box

farming operation that grows,

in 2012, Talley Farms is now able

packs, and ships a variety of

to support other local farmers by

fruits and vegetables. The farm is

purchasing their seasonal fruits and

still owned and operated by the

vegetables, enabling them to share in

Talley Family today.

the subscription-based box program.

Excellence in Everything

The Talley Farms Box

Following the Talley Family’s

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vision to strive for “Excellence

was created with the goal of

in Everything,” all employees

making fresh, local vegetables

follow the company’s core

and fruits conveniently available

values of “Honesty, Fairness

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5 Houseplants to

Effortlessly Spruce Up Any Indoor Space By Molly O’Brien

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Houseplants are known to have a wide range of mental and physical health benefits. They bring life to any environment, and give caregivers something to cultivate. Some are even known to even clean the air in which they thrive! Here are six of the heartiest indoor houseplants to effortlessly spruce up any indoor space.

Spider Plant Spider Plants — or “Chlorophytum comosum” — are happiest with one-weekly waterings and bright light. This plant is also among a group of greenery known to improve indoor air quality indoors by absorbing harmful elements in the air. As it’s a native to tropical Africa, be sure to keep it out of the cold because even a bit of frost can kill these sensitive beings.

Bird’s Nest Fern The Bird’s Nest Fern — or “Asplenium nidus” — is native to the southeast asian rainforest, and is known to grow on top of other plants, hence its name “bird’s nest.” Their leaves form a series of standing, spoon-shaped, fronds rising from a single point up to 5 feet in length in the wild. As houseplants, they typically only reach about 2 feet long but are still impressively easy to care for. The plants have a moderate growth rate, and as they’re native to the rainforest, they’re happiest with ample warmth, humidity, and moisture. Caregivers should water every other week, and avoid watering the center of the plant; instead, water the soil around the perimeter of the plant since the center will hold the water and can potentially cause rot.

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Aloe Vera This special plant has been known around the world for its powerful medicinal uses. Formally classified as an “evergreen perennial,” it originally hails from the Arabian Peninsula but can flourish in the wild in tropical, semi-tropical, and arid climates. This plant needs bright, indirect sunlight — but not too much sunlight as this can cause it to dry out and shrivel up. It’s best to keep an aloe vera plant in a pot near a window so it can soak up the sunshine, but avoid having the sun’s rays hit the plant directly for too long. Aloe vera plants are succulents, so a well-draining potting mix — such as those made for cacti and succulents — will make it happiest. Aloe vera does best in temperatures between 55 and 80°F and as it’s used to thriving in arid environments, plan to water the plant about every few weeks in the spring and summer, but more infrequently during the fall and winter.


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Air Plant Don’t be fooled by the air plant’s misleading name; although “tillandsia genus” requires no soil at all to grow, it can’t thrive with just air. They still need to be watered every once in a while. These plants are also epiphytic, making other plants their home without harming them. They natively hail from the forests, mountains and deserts of South and Central America. These plants need bright, indirect light and it can be tricky to determine exactly when and how much to water them — but a common rule of “green” thumb is to water every one to two weeks by soaking the plant in room temperature water. If you’re lucky, you’ll even witness its literal once in a lifetime flowering, which is the peak of its life cycle.

Snake Plant Formally known as the “Sansevieria,” this hearty plant can go weeks without water and still appear as fresh as ever. They can also survive low light levels, and are known to have few insect problems. NASA research has even shown that snake plants can help keep air inside the home clean by removing common toxins. They’ll add life and cheer into any corner of the apartment.

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Education At Modern Broker, all agents are given opportunities to join frequent training sessions that cover topics ranging from compliance and transactional tools to marketing and business development.

“Modern Broker helps expand your experiences and knowledge when sharing current issues with fellow real estate practitioners from the Central Coast and Central Valley to the Sierras’ rolling foothills. We can cover market trends in multiple locations and assess how each area is dealing with changes.” - Jo Ann & James Outland, MB Broker Associates

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ewlyweds Tom McNeill and Janine Lamond are both

string art in the background with a wreath hung in the

real estate agents for Century 21. Together, they

middle. I gave them away but still had over 25 windows.

recently created the most charming greenhouse using mostly reclaimed materials. The finished result was so beautiful that I asked Janine if she would share her creative process with us all.

That’s when I thought of the greenhouse. After getting Tom on board, I went on Craigslist and found an old wooden french door that I bought. We looked at images online of different greenhouses. I was picturing something not as elaborate as ours - just kind of attaching

What inspired you to build a greenhouse in your backyard?

the windows together with a rudimentary frame. I was

We have been doing a lot of pandemic projects in and

Tom was into the project. He decided it needed to have

around the house. It has been a good source of anxiety release — working with our hands on physical projects. With the Stay at Home order, even though we work in an “essential business,” our business has slowed down and

thinking we would fill in with plywood where we had to and I would paint the plywood to make it blend in. But siding that matched the siding on our house, and when he put up eaves, I knew he was serious about it looking nice.

us spend much more time on home projects. Even being

How big is it? Did you use entirely recycled materials? Where did they come from?

in the isolated, safe space of our house and yard, there is

It’s approximately 8 ½ x 6 ½. The windows came from the

an underlying anxiety with a pandemic looming outside

rental house, the door I found on Craigslist, the lumber

our safe haven. Worrying about medically compromised or

for the framing and the siding is all new. The shelves are

we have been doing most of our work from home, letting

aging family and friends being exposed to the virus and the political unrest that just seemed to be dividing everyone was causing the need for an outlet for my anxious energy, which is probably not true for Tom - just me. Some of our other pandemic projects included hanging string lights in the backyard, redoing the joists of our deck, painting and putting in a floor in a guest room, building raised gardening beds, repainting woodwork, cooking, and reframing art.

Can you explain the steps you took to envision the project? A couple years ago, Tom replaced all the windows of an older rental house he owns. I thought the windows had a lot of charm with their layers of paint and old bulky hardware. They were old single pane wooden windows. I kept them and wanted to do something with them. I made a few interesting outdoor fence hangings: a couple with etched butterflies in the glass, one with no glass, but twine

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all made from old lumber we had laying around left over from an old project.

Is there a place where someone who also wanted to use recycled materials can find them on the Central Coast? Due to the pandemic, Craigslist and Offer Up are the 2 places I go to find recycled material now.

How did you create the foundation? I wanted to build the greenhouse where I could enjoy seeing it out the window from our living room. We didn’t have a large enough level space, so Tom built a retaining wall out of concrete retaining wall blocks that stack together and then filled the space in with dirt from another area of our yard to create a flat space that would accommodate the greenhouse. I only had two sized windows so the length was determined by putting two of the larger windows together. The backside was determined by putting two of the smaller windows side by side. The actual floor was created with cement lattice pavers. That was Tom’s idea. We filled the holes with pebbles so there would be good drainage. I love the look of the floor — kind of looks like an industrial lace.

Did you use a set of plans to create the frame? I didn’t use plans, I just used Tom. He’s pretty good at creating on the fly. However, we had a miscommunication in the beginning when he built the first wall.

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He thought the windows would mount inside the frame, but I wanted them mounted on the outside of the frame so that the frame was contained inside the windows and I could use the frame as window sills. He quickly and lovingly rebuilt the wall smaller when we realized our different visions. He also was going to build all the walls the same height and then add the roof but I talked him into building the side walls lower than the top of the door so that the frame of the roof comes down lower than the top of the door. I thought it would be cuter that way even though he will probably hit his head on the eaves when he walks too close to the greenhouse — I’m short enough to fit under them!

How did you refinish the windows and the door? What materials did you use? The windows had several layers of paint on them and I thought about trying to incorporate that look, but in the end I decided I wanted a very fresh clean

look so I wanted the greenhouse to be a clean white. So

I love the crystal doorknob, is it reclaimed too?

for the windows I just took off the loose paint, sanded

The crystal doorknob is a wedding gift from my step

them down a bit and painted them white. I also had to repair a lot of the glazing because it was in bad shape — especially after sitting in the yard for a couple of years. The door was brown on one side, and half pink and half white on the other side. I just sanded it down and painted it white also.

sister and her family — from Amazon. My grandmother had crystal doorknobs in her house on all her interior doors, so crystal door knobs feel nurturing and like love to me. I really wanted it in the greenhouse so I used my sister’s family’s generous Amazon gift card to purchase the doorknob. Plus, they enabled me to buy the cute wooden sign on the front of the greenhouse that says “Fresh Cut -

Once the structure was built, what color did you paint it?

Flower Market - Let Your Dreams Blossom.”

a softer, grayer white, but then to add some color and

How did you install the interior shelves and are they also reclaimed?

pizzazz, I decided to paint the shelving a distressed look by

We brainstormed on how to install the shelves. Well,

Down White for most of the greenhouse which to me was

using different colors to layer in an aged look. I was going for lighter blueish resembling water.

actually, I listened while Tom went through the various options. I bought a few types of brackets to try, but in the end he decided on attaching them in between the existing framing joists and doing some fancy notching where needed. It’s a cleaner look without the brackets.

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Now, I really want to know — what are you planning on growing in it? That’s a great question and we’re not exactly sure yet. Tom is a natural gardener. He loves to grow anything and everything and he’s good at it. I’d love to say that I’ve always been a gardener but that just isn’t the case. I’ve never been particularly interested in digging in the dirt and getting my hands dirty in that way. Don’t get me wrong, I love doing projects where I get my hands dirty — refinishing furniture, painting, cooking... but I’ve never been much of a gardener. But this last year, we have had a lot of time at home and it’s the first time I’ve been really involved in planting vegetables and then reaping

the rewards of my labor. It was extremely rewarding. It was so nice to go into the garden each evening and pick out things that I could incorporate into dinner. Because of that, one of our earlier pandemic projects was building 4 large raised gardening beds. We intend to grow all sorts of vegetables there this year. So, the greenhouse will probably be very beneficial in helping us start our vegetables from seeds. We’ll grow our starters in there and then transfer them to the gardening beds. But mostly I’m interested in flowers. I’d love to see the greenhouse be chock full of beautiful flowers. Plus I have a lot of orchids that I would like to rebloom in there. I’ll need to do more research but I’m hoping the greenhouse will help me be more

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successful with my orchids.

You also have a fantastic vegetable garden. Why do you think it’s valuable to grow your own plants and vegetables? They just taste so much better. Plus, it is surprisingly rewarding to reap what you sow. The biggest lesson I have learned from gardening is patience! I find it difficult to wait for vegetables to mature before picking them - it is good practice for being patient and letting things take their course. And I did discover that checking on them more often doesn’t cause them to grow any faster. Sometimes I would check on the same zucchini several times a day but that didn’t really speed up the growing.

Any parting words of advice for someone who is interested in taking on a project like this? Do it! It was super fun and rewarding and now we’ll have a new project — the actual growing of plants, vegetables, and flowers in the greenhouse. It doesn’t have to be as big as this project — just doing a project that beautifies your outdoor space or making it more functional is rewarding and will encourage you to spend more time outdoors.

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Private Dinners & a Personal Touch:

THE STORY OF A LOCAL CHEF By Molly O’Brien Photos courtesy of Kean McCabe

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Kean McCabe is a Los Osos native, born and raised

Luckily, McCabe is crafty, and wasted no time in using his

on the Central Coast. He first experienced the art

culinary skills to create a new venture for himself.

of cooking 12 years ago while enrolled in a nutrition course at Cuesta for an extra credit opportunity. His class was taught in a series of steps on how to make eggs with feta cheese and tomatoes. “It was the first time I had prepared something with a tasty flavor that I was proud of,” recalls McCabe. It sparked his interest in creating something more. McCabe moved on to become a server at a few different restaurants, and eventually worked his way up to become a Line Cook at The Lido at Dolphin Bay Resort in Pismo Beach. “I was creating daily lunch specials, doing menu writing, and ordering the seafood. I really started to play around with flavors and combinations of ingredients. I was able to get crafty and order

“My father and I had previously built our own wood-fired oven in the backyard when I was working at Embers. I started selling pizzas on a donation basis to cover the cost of ingredients. I was just feeling stagnant and wanted to get my hands dirty and keep doing the thing that I loved.” McCabe didn’t predict the level of success his self-made drive-thru pizza business would have on the Central Coast community. He saw an opportunity for himself in a culinary gap, since there was no woodfired pizza anywhere near where he was selling. “It took off as soon as I began promoting it on Instagram. We had ‘set up times’ where we would set it up from 4 to 8 p.m., and we had people coming every 15 minutes picking up pizzas from us.”

whatever produce, meats and ingredients that were in season.” Through experimenting and exploring new flavors, McCabe was able to improve his culinary skills without having to dive into earning a professional degree. He didn’t have to go to a fancy culinary academy to learn the real tricks of the trade — he “learned by doing,” as the local motto goes. “I’m all self-taught in kitchens... just paying attention, absorbing, going home and doing more research on my own, cooking at home, and eating out.


Honestly, a lot of things I get inspired by and create myself are from when I eat out. When you eat out, you get to taste someone else’s flavors, eat other food, get inspired.”


When the pandemic hit, McCabe had just moved on from his position as a chef de partie at Embers on his way to transfer over to a new role at the Morro Bay Oyster Company. He didn’t make it to his first day on the job before the world shut down. | 805-356-5684 1148 E Grand Avenue | Arroyo Grande, CA

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But this new venture didn’t last long before the county

Santa Maria grill and can even cook other meats such

stepped in and told him he needed to get proper permitting

as salmon and steak in the wood-fired oven. He admits

to run his business. “Long story short, the county had to

he’s had to remain incredibly dynamic throughout this

shut me down,” said McCabe. Luckily, he wasn’t stagnant

self-employment journey and learned a lot in the last

for long at all. McCable once again pivoted — this time,

few months.

toward creating (professionally) organized private gourmet dinner experiences.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned is that starting a business is a whirlwind. It’s amazing, because I’m setting my own

“I’ll have people come to me at an outside location with

schedule, I’m setting time to do research, and I feel like I

a pre-set table. Or I bring it to their location if they want

haven’t even experienced most of it yet. It’s about rolling

to dine in the comfort of their own home. I prepare all my

with the punches, every day is a new day with permits or

food out in my certified commercial kitchen and I curate

business license timing.”

a music playlist for my diners. That’s something we set up over email beforehand, and they choose whatever jams they want to listen to while they’re dining.”

He recalls a particularly nail biting experience when he first started hosting private dinners, and he wasn’t sure if his business permit would go through on time for his

McCabe and his fiancé work together in their new business

first big opportunity to make an impression on an

to create the most intimate, enjoyable fine dining experience

important client.

for each guest. He’ll grill the meat in front of them on a

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“I got my business license the day before my biggest event so far -- there was a lot of backpedaling and calling the health department over and over for approvals. The day before the event, the health department officially approved my kitchen and sent me my business certificate online. I had already prepped out all the food for this private dinner, which had been a huge risk before getting officially cleared,” he said.

“Ultimately, I’ve learned that this lifestyle is just about going for it, learning by doing, and persevering.”

This won’t be the end of this new lifestyle for McCabe, as he continues to learn more about the trade and work with the growing culinary scene of the Central Coast. “I hope to continue to keep moving forward, maybe even expanding my business to a larger scale. I might add some ability for mobile catering. That will require a whole new permitting process, inspections and build-outs, but hopefully it’s in the works for the near future.”

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Crunchy Asian Salad Recipe courtesy of Courtney Coleman, CookWell

Salad Ingredients: · 1/4 head red cabbage, chopped finely · 1/4 head green cabbage, chopped finely · 4 cups chopped Asian Greens (i.e., any type of greens that can be eaten raw: yam leaf, daikon radish greens, turnip greens, amaranth greens, fava greens, malabar spinach, mizuna, snow pea shoots, water spinach, baby bok choy, baby tatsoi, baby yu choy, and baby mustard greens) · ½ red onion or 3 green onions, chopped · ½ cup chopped cilantro · ½ jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)

Dressing Ingredients: · 1 cup almond butter, sunflower butter, or sesame butter (tahini) · 1/2 cup cilantro leaves · 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil · 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger · Juice of 2 lemons · 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar · 1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar · 1/2 cup virgin olive oil · 1/4 jalapeno pepper (optional) · 1 tsp raw honey or 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)

Instructions: Mix the cabbage & Asian greens with the chopped onions. Add cilantro and jalapeno. Place all the dressing ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend briefly, or simply whisk vigorously by hand. Mix into salad mix and serve.

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Spring Filet Mignon Recipe courtesy of Kean McCabe, Earth and Oven

Cast Iron Filet Mignon

Roasted Baby Broccoli

· Filet mignon

· 2 bunches of baby broccoli

· Extra virgin olive oil

· Salt & pepper

· Butter

· Olive oil

Heat cast iron until it is smoking (literally)

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Season water with salt. Cut thick ends

hot, add 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and

off baby broccoli and place baby broccoli in boiling water, stem side

place Filet Mignon in the center of the pan.

down, and steam for 2 minutes. Remove broccoli from boiling water

Give a heavy sear on one side and turn over,

and place in a bowl with water and ice to shock the broccoli and stop

cook for one minute then add a pad of butter

it from cooking. This also helps to keep its color. Then, line a baking

to help caramelize the side of the filet.

sheet with broccoli, coat with oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven till desired doneness.

805-234-7997 112 / Living Lavishly

833 North Oak Park Blvd. Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Confit Fingerlings & Melted Gruyere · 1 lb fingerlings

· 4 sprigs rosemary

· 2 cups Gruyere (grated)

· Vegetable oil

· 8 cloves garlic Place 1 pound (or desired amount) of fingerlings in a pyrex pan with 8 cloves garlic and 4 sprigs rosemary. Cover with vegetable oil and bake for roughly 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees. Check at 30 minutes with a fork to see if done because cooking time will vary depending on size of potatoes. If potatoes are cooked, remove from the oven and start to heat up a cast iron over the stove on medium heat. Once hot, take a slotted spoon and scoop fingerlings out of oil and into cast iron pan. Once fingerlings start to sear and get color add desired

Photo courtesy of Earth and Oven

amount of grated gruyere and cook until cheese starts to brown and get crunchy. Season with salt and pepper.

Cherry Thyme Jam

Carrot Ginger Puree

· 3 pounds cherries

· 2 each bay leaves

· 1 bunch thyme

· 1/2 cinnamon stick

· 1 bunch basil

· 1 orange

· 1 shallot

· 1 bottle red wine

Rough chop carrots, celery, red onion and garlic.

· 2 cloves garlic

Heat 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a pot. When hot,

· 2 each star anise

· 3 cups sugar to start (add more for desired sweetness)

· 6 jumbo carrots

· 1 small red onion

· 3 thumbs of ginger

· 4 garlic cloves

· 3 stalks celery

· 1 qt heavy whipping cream

add all ingredients besides ginger. Sweat ingredients for 8 minutes, constantly stirring on medium heat. While carrot mixture cooks, peel skin off of ginger and dice into as small of pieces as possible, add 2 tbsp butter, cook for 2 minutes then add ginger to pot with the rest of the ingredients. Keep cooking for 5 more minutes.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pot, add diced shallot and garlic and cook until aromatic. Add 1 tbsp butter and cook for 1 minute. Add cherries and all ingredients wrapped in a cheese cloth for easy removal, but do not add wine yet. Reduce this mixture till almost all the liquid is cooked off from the cherries; at this point, add the whole bottle of red wine and bring to a

When all ingredients are aromatic and soft, cover with

simmer for roughly 2 hours or until almost all the wine has

heavy whipping cream. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a

reduced out. When there is still liquid start folding in sugar

simmer and cook for 45 minutes or until desired

for desired sweetness and consistency. Remove cheese

consistency. Blend with a vitamix or with a hand blender.

cloth and serve or blend in vitamix for smoother more

Salt and pepper to taste.

puree consistency. Season with salt.

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The Perfect Pantry

MUST-HAVE ITEMS FOR THE LOCAL SHOPPER By Molly O’Brien Photos by Bryan Kirkpatrick

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Olive Oils


The history of olive oil dates back thousands of years —

Whether it’s for transforming the classic PB&J and making

it’s been a pantry staple used in a wide range of dishes

it gourmet, or lathering it up on fresh french toast scones,

from salads to flatbreads and beyond in cultures across

jams sourced from the Central Coast are high quality and

the globe. On the Central Coast, the region’s Mediterranean

made with locally sourced ingredients. The Central Coast

climate makes it an ideal location for growing olive trees.

is an ideal environment for a range of fruit and berry trees

Locals and visitors alike can revel in the diverse selection

to thrive. Businesses such as Hartley Farms use the fruit

of olive oils that are locally harvested and ready to create

to create gourmet, GMO free preserves and jams for any

an unforgettable meal.

culinary creation.

Our Recommendation: The Groves on 41

Our Recommendation: Hartley Farms

Hot Sauce

Baking Items

Hot sauce is an ideal ingredient to spice up any dish, and

Baked goods are a staple item in every meal — from

add some heat. This cooking staple can be a type of

breakfast scones to sandwich bread to dinner rolls. The

condiment, seasoning, or a salsa made from chili peppers

key ingredient in this tasty food fare? Flour and yeast.

and a combination of other flavorful other ingredients.

Luckily, those who are jumping on the trend to make their

Splash Cafe’s Raucous Daucus! Caliente Carrot Pepper

own bread dough can buy these ingredients at Grover

Sauce is made with daucus, which is the botanical genus

Beach Sourdough. This outpost specifically offers “native

of the carrot. The tanginess from the carrot combined

yeast,” which is found on blueberries from Two Peas in a

with heat from the peppers creates a perfect combination

Pod farm in Arroyo Grande. Native yeast is the white powder

for adding a kick to any dish.

that coats the fruit such as a plum off a tree or fresh

Our Recommendation: Splash Cafe

grapes toward the end of summer. This coating is called yeast coating and is native to whatever location the fruit was grown.


Our Recommendation: Grover Beach Sourdough

Those who want to add some excitement to a pasta dinner can find a selection of fun shapes and colors at local markets, such as the Avila Valley Barn in Avila Beach. Our Recommendation: Avila Valley Barn

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Ciders & Wines

Healthy Snacks

No celebratory gathering is complete without a cider or

Healthy snacks are a key pantry staple to curb hunger

wine to toast, and luckily, there are plenty of places on

between meals and keep on track to maintain a balanced

the Central Coast which source and create their own

lifestyle. From oatmeal to almonds to pretzels to crackers,

products on-site. Tin City Cider in Paso Robles is especially

it’s easy to grab a handful of these munchies to hold off

unique, because the business is a collaboration between

hunger between meals.

local winemakers Curt Schalchlin and Andrew Jones who together produce cider carefully crafted from California apples — and sometimes even fused with wine, such as the Poly Dolly cider and rose combo, a perfectly fused blend of rose wine and cider for the best of both worlds all in one can. Our Recommendation: Tin City Cider

Organizational Items The essential items needed to successfully organize a pantry include the basics such as few different types of bins, clear containers, and stackable containers. Glass containers are a fantastic way to clearly present the types of goodies that you’re looking for without having to take time digging through the shelves. Another method to make it easier to find what’s needed in the speediest amount of time is labeling each container for direct access. Our Recommendation: Michael’s

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Editor’s Picks:

HIDDEN GEMS OF THE CENTRAL COAST By Molly O’Brien, Kaela Hoisch, and Chanel Jensen

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uring the time of uncertainty that came with the pandemic, we saw the local business landscape shift as loyal consumers flocked to offer support. The entrepreneurial spirit

of the Central Coast has evolved into imaginative solutions - solutions that we consider to be what makes the Central Coast such a special place to live and work. To say we live in paradise would be an understatement; between our prized wine country, local breweries, and endless adventure destinations, there’s no shortage of activities and locations to scope out. Fine dining and a majestic balloon ride over Paso Robles can be accomplished in just a day. A walk on the Pismo Beach boardwalk and coffee in San Luis Obispo is what many locals would consider an agenda for a typical Saturday. Our region of California is a special place to be in. Between the small businesses, people, and all the hidden treasures we get to enjoy as Central Coast residents, we feel that the following places and activities make the Central Coast what it is. This is home.

Photo courtesy of White Water

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Oak and Otter Brewing San Luis Obispo

In the space formerly known as Seven Sisters Brewing in San Luis Obispo, co-owners Anthony Poncey and Dylan Roddick have created Oak and Otter Brewing, an intimate local spot featuring house-made brews and comfort foods. “Oak and Otter not only serves great beers, it attracts great people. It’s the most welcoming and friendly brewery in San Luis Obispo,” says on-site beer tender, Isabella Valdez. The story started when head brewer Dylan Roddick began home-brewing in his kitchen over a decade ago, winning an impressive collection of accolades along the way including “Best in Show” at the California Mid-State Fair in 2017. Dylan brews a plethora of beers for the business. Some well-known staples include the Otter Blonde, the Morro Haze IPA, and the always-in-season Basic Witch Pumpkin Ale. Additionally, the brewery boasts a line of rotating hard seltzers called Otter Paw. For those who prefer a non-alcoholic beverage, the brewery also offers fantastic

Photo courtesy of Oak and Otter Brewing

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house-made root beer, ginger beer, and flavored seltzer water. The menu also includes other locally made beverages and select local wines. Despite its official opening just months before the COVID-19 pandemic, Oak and Otter has managed to adapt well to the ever-changing safety protocols. During the stay-at-home order during March and April 2020, the brewery sold kegs and allowed customers to stock up on both small and large growlers of their favorite beer. When the business was allowed to re-open, a section of the parking lot was adapted to expand the outdoor seating space and allow visitors to enjoy their food and brews outdoors. In addition to serving a wide-range of beverages, Oak and Otter has a full kitchen, serving up everything from salads and sandwiches to tacos. A few favorites among regulars would be the nachos and the grilled cheese dippers (which is a serving of grilled cheese slices, paired Photo courtesy of Oak and Otter Brewing

with hearty tomato soup for dipping). Among the daily crowds are the brewery’s many regulars, all who have found a space to enjoy great beers among one another’s company.



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Photo courtesy of Humdinger Brewing

Humdinger Brewing

Humdinger has created a fantastic food menu, offering

Arroyo Grande

beer to order is the ‘Piston Honda’, a rice lager, with an

everything from tacos to reuben sandwiches. “My favorite order of crispy dipping potatoes on the side,” remarks

Humdinger Brewing is a newer addition to the growing

regular customer Chelsea Smith.

food and beverage scene in the Village of Arroyo Grande.

In addition to their signature house-made beers, customers

In a neighborhood already boasting many fine dining

can also order an assortment of different locally made

options with restaurants such as Ember and Mason Bar,

beers and wines. Customers looking for both a good

Humdinger Brewing offers a more casual eating and

deal and a regular supply of beer can sign up for one

drinking experience, without compromising the quality of

of Humdinger’s three beer clubs called “The Voyager,”

its menu.

“The Can Crusher,” and “The Growler Monkey.” Each

This business started as many other craft breweries do — with a successful garage brewing operation. As their beer grew in popularity, so did their space. Homebrewers Lee Samway and Justin Amy knew that with little competition already in this location, Arroyo Grande was the perfect place for a brewery and restaurant. When the current

club has a different membership price with uniquely associated perks. These beer clubs work similarly to wine clubs, offering weekly growler refills, discounts, merchandise, private parties, and more. The only time to sign up for one of the beer clubs is from November to December — so beer lovers should mark their calendars for these dates, in 2021!

space went on the market the owners quickly jumped at

Humdinger is a great local spot to meet up with friends and

the opportunity. Now, customers can either dine-in, or

enjoy a beer and a bite. It’s friendly, neighborly atmosphere

order to-go beers, choosing from a wide selection of

and exceptional brews and foods are just a few of the many

impeccably crafted brews and most recently, hard seltzers.

reasons to check out this newer member of the Village.

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Wineries Photo courtesy of Ancient Peaks Winery

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Ancient Peaks

Cabernet Sauvignon based blend, is named after this unique soil component.

Santa Margarita

Ancient Peaks boasts a wide variety of wines. For the Ancient Peaks Winery is a family-owned winery nestled in the hills of the Santa Lucia Mountain range in between San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles. The winery sources wines from the Santa Margarita Ranch and was founded in 1999 by owners Doug Filipponi, Karl Wittstrom, and Rob Rossi - all three of whom are actively involved in the wine and agricultural communities on the Central Coast. The vineyards occupy approximately 900 of the 14,000 acre working cattle ranch. Since it spans such a wide range of land, the vineyards contain many soil types and experience multiple micro-climates, which lends them to produce complex, unique wines. Fossilized oyster shells are a distinct component of the soils which are rich in essential calcium. The popular wine “Oyster Ridge,” a

whites, Ancient peaks produces a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc. For the reds, in addition to the basics for the Central Coast which include Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel, the winery also produces a Merlot, Petit Syrah, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and a variety of red blends. The Rosè lovers are also covered — with a new one rolling out every vintage. In addition to enjoying a delicious flight, visitors can order from an extensive food menu which includes charcuterie boards, salads, and sandwiches. Guests can either taste inside or on the beautiful outdoor patio with a fantastic view of downtown Santa Margarita. Ancient Peaks is a winery that combines family, ranching, and wine, excellently demonstrating these important values which are upheld on the Central Coast. Not only does the business produce superb wines, guests are sure to enjoy the welcoming atmosphere of the tasting room, with its ranch-themed decor, knowledgeable staff, and extensive selection of merchandise.

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Clos Solène Paso Robles Clos Solène is a family-owned winery in Paso Robles with a story that shows the true power that love and a dream can have for creating a successful business. Owner and winemaker Guillaume Fabre comes from six generations of wine producers in the LanguedocRoussillon region of Southern France. He met his wife Solène at church in 2002, saying that falling for her hit him like a “bolt of lightning.” The problem was that he was soon moving to Paso Robles for a winemaking internship at L’Aventure, and she was traveling to Spain to finish school. Though the couple had the odds stacked against them, their love withstood the test of time and distance. After years of long-distance love, Guillaume flew Solène to California in 2006 and convinced her to stay by promising to build her their very own “Clos Solène,” which in French translates to “Solène’s small, enclosed vineyard area.” Guillaume continued his work as assistant winemaker

Photo courtesy of Clos Solène

at L’Aventure, and developed his first white wine. As he began producing more wines for his label, which he affectionately named Clos Solène, the couple began to look for their own “clos.’’ They eventually purchased a 28 acre piece of land in Paso Robles in 2017, which has a strikingly similar terroir to that of the Rhone region in France. Fast forward to today, and Guillaume is producing a full portfolio including 2,800 cases of different Rhone varietals, encompassing mostly Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre, with a few creative Bordeaux blends mixed in. Guests of the tasting room can expect to be led through an immersive tasting experience by one of

hosts. Tastings will include the chance to try each wine, as well as background on Guillaume’s winemaking philosophies and the romantic Clos Solène story. Tastings are offered by appointment only, which creates a unique experience for every customer. At the moment, Clos Solène is also hosting three uniquevirtual tasting experiences which will likely become a permanent offering of the winery. Visitors of Clos Solène will have the chance to experience the taste of an authentic French winery on the Central Coast!

the tasting room’s knowledgeable and passionate

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Best Restaurants 126 / Living Lavishly

Photo courtesy of The Alchemist’s Garden

The Alchemist’s Garden Paso Robles The Alchemist’s Garden is a more recent addition to the bar and restaurant scene within downtown Paso Robles, having celebrated their grand opening on September 1, 2020. The term “Alchemy” comes from an ancient branch of natural philosophy with a focus on transforming matter, typically base metals (i.e. iron and aluminum), into noble metals (i.e. gold and silver). This philosophy aligns with the concept of mixology, which is the practice of transforming ingredients into something new, altogether. The theme of alchemy within this restaurant is apparent as soon as customers walk through the door. The Alchemist’s Garden is primarily cocktail-focused, offering whimsical variations of just about every classic cocktail on their menu. In addition to the regular cocktail menu, a new “zodiac-themed” cocktail is revealed at the beginning of each astrological season. One example would be the Capricorn cocktail, which is a cozy but bold mix of cacao-infused whiskey, v.e.p. Green chartreuse, coffee vermouth, chocolate bitters, and whipped meringue. Alongside the cocktail menu is an extensive spirits list, encompassing everything from the basics — to absinthe. Diners can start by choosing from a plethora of appetizers, salads, and entrees — some of which include rosemary brined bone broth, coffee rubbed skirt steak, and butternut squash pasta. On the desert menu, diners can choose from dishes such as coconut cream parfait, confetti tiny cake, and seasonal ice cream or sorbet. There is truly something for everyone. The owners of the Alchemist garden have accrued extensive hospitality, restaurant, and bar experience and work to combine their unique skills toward making The Alchemist’s Garden a special dining experience for its customers. The Alchemist’s Garden is a must-visit for both locals and tourists alike who are searching for a different kind of dining experience in Paso Robles.

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Farmhouse Corner Market San Luis Obispo Farmhouse Corner Market is more than just a restaurant — it’s a place to enjoy a sit-down meal, grab a bite to-go, shop, take colorful photos, and more. Farmhouse is located across the street from the SLO airport in a building that appears industrial and non-conspicuous from the outside. Inside however, visitors will find a colorful and warm atmosphere, with a cafe area in the front and the market toward the rear. Guests can order food from a diverse and delicious menu — or even just a coffee and a baked good. Farmhouse also supplies a wide selection of local beers and wines to enjoy. Once guests order their food, they can shop in the market or sit out on the colorfully decorated patio. There’s even live music out on the patio to enjoy, as well!

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Photo courtesy of Farmhouse Corner Market

For those who are in a hurry, the market offers grab and go salads, sandwiches, and cheese plates to take away for a beach trip or picnic. Visitors can also bring them to wine tasting appointments at wineries that allow outside food, since Farmhouse is conveniently located on the way to Edna Valley’s wine country. In the market section of Farmhouse guests will find a retro -themed ice cream parlor, stocked with fresh ice cream made in-house using the Straus Family Creamery ice-cream base. The market sells floral goods, including potted plants and dried flower bouquets, jewelry and accessories, wine and beer, and Farmhouse merchandise for purchase. The interior of Farmhouse creates many backdrop opportunities perfect for taking a cute photo. There’s a vintage pink tractor and a rainbow painted wall complemented with an array of potted plants - a shooting Photo courtesy of Farmhouse Corner Market

area that’s favored by local photographers and social media influencers!

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129 / Living Lavishly

Photo courtesy of Balloons Over Paso

Best Adventure Spots 130 / Living Lavishly

Balloons Over Paso Paso Robles Balloons Over Paso is a small, female-owned business in Paso Robles run by Phoebe Brown, who founded the company in 2018 after being inspired from her first balloon flight in Queensland, Australia. It was on that trip when Phoebe realized her dream of becoming a pilot and a small business owner. Upon returning, she worked to gain her commercial pilot’s license. Joining her in the business is commercial and private pilot Jeff Johnson, and crew members Bill Cloonan and Scott Ellis— all of whom are passionate about ballooning and adventure. Ballooning packages must be scheduled in advance, and flight meeting spots are determined the morning of the flight. Flight meeting times can range from 5:30 - 6:45 a.m., when winds are usually the calmest and the balloons can be operated safely. Customers can choose between a semi-private package, a private package, and a tethered ride. The private packages are perfect for special occasions such as proposals, honeymoons, or a romantic date. The tethered rides are great for special events and festivals, since it can accommodate up to 40 passengers per hour. The semi-private package is a great option for friends or couples that don’t mind potentially exploring with a small group. After each flight, guests will enjoy a complimentary tasting from local Le Vigne Winery which is the perfect way to end a trip overlooking the vineyards of Paso Robles. Former passenger Mike H. surprised his girlfriend with a balloon ride for her birthday, saying, “The views were memorable but Phoebe’s ebullient personality and youthful wonderment made the experience what it was - an intimate, personal experience.” Booking a flight with Balloons Over Paso is the perfect activity to explore the Central Coast, while trying something new, and supporting a female-owned business!

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Photo courtesy of Covell’s Clydesdales

Covell’s Clydesdales Cambria

turns them into safe mounts for guests. As colts/fillies or previously unhandled adults, the Clydesdales are halter trained. When they are old enough, Tara instructs them on how to drive (the step before pulling a wagon), which

In the small, whimsical town of Cambria, north of San

teaches them the proper commands before introducing

Luis Obispo up coastal Highway 1 and nestled in the pine

a rider. When the horses are deemed ready, Tara starts

covered hills is the Covell Ranch, guests can find Clydesdale

them under saddle.

Ranch, a family-owned property that provides tours and a ride on one of their iconic horses.

Covell’s Clydesdales welcomes guests of all experience levels. The trail rides last for over an hour, and wind

Most people know Clydesdales from the iconic Budweiser

through pine forests and grazing lands with ocean

commercials and their horses. The Covell family

views. Riding a Clydesdale is a unique experience - many

cherishes the Clydesdale breed, having been in the

have said it feels like riding a “barrel that’s really high off

business of breeding and showing them for over 40 years.

the ground!”

Now, anywhere from 50-100 Clydesdales can be found roaming the ranch’s open rangeland. Most of these horses are retired show horses, now involved in furthering the breed’s pedigree and the legacy of the Covell Ranch.

Vehicle tours of the ranch are also available to those who wish to view the horses from afar, and guests can even request to add lunch to their tour experience. The Covell Ranch is a legacy in the little town of Cambria, making it the

Some of the horses are used for the trail rides, which

perfect adventure spot for anyone wanting to experience a

are led by Tara Covell herself. She trains the horses, and

unique part of the Central Coast’s culture and heritage.

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133 / Living Lavishly

Best Cup of Coffee 134 / Living Lavishly

Nautical Bean

classics for those devoted to sticking with drinks that are tried and true. The true star is their nutty bean coffee,

San Luis Obispo

which is a warm chestnut blend that’s only found at their

Walking into Nautical Bean feels like walking into an art gallery, with caffeine as the star of the show. One of the many perks of living on the Central Coast is the abundance of unique coffee shops for locals and out-of-towners to

shop. Adored by locals and one-time customers, their nutty bean blend is available for purchase both in store and online. Nautical also offers tasty bites to go along with any type


of brew. Made with fresh and flavorful ingredients, food

With two locations in San Luis Obispo, Nautical Bean is

flatbread pizzas, and a collection of tasty breakfast items.

perhaps one of the best shops to frequent. Inside, the walls are adorned with eclectic and eye-catching vintage art and the friendly baristas create an inviting atmosphere that lasts the entire visit. Nautical caters to both the simplistic and adventurous coffee drinker. The house menu includes the signature Black and White Mocha, the Rainforest Latte, the “Caramel” Sutra, Mint Chip Mocha, and a collection of other specialties that can be made iced, hot, or blended. No need to worry if these choices seem a bit too bold. The cafe menu also offers all the

options include pastries, sandwiches, wraps, salads, The California Eggel and Kitchen Sink Burrito are fan favorites among both dedicated and new customers alike. Whether it’s a chance to get out of the house, get some work done, or simply relax, Nautical Bean welcomes all customers. Following COVID-19 regulations, Nautical Bean offers outdoor seating for customers and requires masks upon entry. Even if indoor dining is unavailable due to COVID-19 regulations, the atmosphere nevertheless remains friendly and inviting.

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135 / Living Lavishly

Joebella Coffee Roasters

back, relax, and enjoy witnessing the process that produced


have medium, dark, and decaf roasts available for purchase.

the drink in their hands. If one drink isn’t enough, they All their products are made with organic ingredients

The aroma upon entering Joebella Coffee Roasters perfectly captures the inviting ambiance created by its employees and customers. Finding community can sometimes make or break living in a smaller town, but Joebella’s dedication to providing a clear sense of community is evident in every sense of their business. Located in Atascadero, Joebella is

and many of their beans are shipped in from all over the world. Joebella also has a nice selection of food items for customers to enjoy, but their breakfast burrito easily earns the title of fan favorite. They also have freshly baked pastries available for customers looking to grab a light bite.

a local hotspot for all caffeine needs and a fitting spot to

Always happy to answer any product questions, their

grab a perfectly brewed cup of coffee. Not only do they

employees take pride in providing memorable experiences

strive to provide incredible customer service, but their

that have resulted in many customers becoming regulars.

dedication to know every name and order by heart leaves

Tucked away in a small center, Joebella is truly a hidden

customers coming back for more. One of the most unique

gem of Atascadero. Customers must wear masks upon

aspects of their shop is their full disclosure. Directly next

entering, but are still welcome to enjoy outdoor seating.

door and viewable through a glass wall, their roastery

Joebella has remained dedicated to staying open while

is often operated during store hours. Customers can sit

keeping their employees and customers safe.

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Best Staycation Ideas 138 / Living Lavishly

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139 / Living Lavishly

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Vespera on Ocean

visitors feel as if they’re vacationing in their own private beach house.

Pismo Beach

Sandy Wirick, Director of Sales & Marketing for Vespera, Vespera on Ocean in Pismo Beach is a newly built, upscale beach house-inspired hotel. As part of the iconic Marriott

shared insight on the community’s substantial involvement in the input and creation of this new build.

Autograph Collection, every element of this property’s

“The property is warmly embraced by the community —

design is entirely unique, and aims at fitting into the

one of the things that was a key pillar when we built the

natural lifestyle of the existing community. Having just

hotel and we were hiring, is that the leadership for the

officially unveiled in October of 2019, this hotel now offers

hotel is mostly local,” she said. “Before we officially opened,

a place where local community members and visitors can

we made sure to cement our relationships with our local

mix to connect with each other and appreciate the beauty

partners — which extends from our leadership into every

of the Central Coast.

aspect of the hotel. We have a very warm, open

The property overlooks the ocean, and offers direct access to the sand — as well as nearby access to numerous

relationship with Central Coast locals. It’s something that’s really important to us.”

relaxing outdoor activities in Pismo. It’s a fun, active, and

Vespera has built its entire brand identity around the Pismo

stylish escape on the Central Coast that offers spacious,

Beach community, and incorporated the atmosphere of this

residential-style guest rooms and suites that make

laid-back, coastal city into every element of its design.

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Photo courtesy of Vespera on Ocean

Photo courtesy of Vespera on Ocean

Most rooms offer balconies overlooking the Pacific Ocean,

fireplace, and a beachfront pool deck with an outdoor bar

and upon walking in guests feel as if there’s a weight being

and multiple fire pits. Special details include the sizable

lifted off their shoulders. Cool blues contrast against bright

“ocean front lawn,” adjacent to the pier, which Wirick

whites and warm beachy decor, alongside light washed

affectionately refers to as “the backyard.” She emphasizes

woods — together creating a clean and sunny aesthetic.

the unmatched views of its oceanfront sunsets and the five

In an effort to work with and support the local community,

firepits to enjoy when the sun slips underneath the water.

most on-site provisions for the hotel’s restaurant,

Another especially standout element of this property?

Somerset Grill, are sourced locally. Vegetables are from

Its special “locals only” discount, aimed at creating the

Talley Farms, seafood is caught from Morro Bay, and the

best of what a staycation has to offer to the Central Coast

wines are locally made and hand-picked.


“We call ourselves ‘barefoot luxury,’ which means we’re

“We just want to let our locals know that we love them,

luxurious — but it’s very “Pismo Beach,” in the way that

we appreciate them, and they’re a part of our community,”

you can walk right onto the sand from our patio and

says Wirick. “We want them to know that yes — we’re a

boardwalk which is designed to literally capture the sand

luxury hotel — but at the same time, everything about the

as people walk through,” says Wirick.

experience visiting us is worth it.”

A few of the key amenities on-site include direct beach and boardwalk access, a living room style lobby with cozy

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(805) 541-5800 142 / Living Lavishly

White Water Cambria White Water in Cambria is a recently unveiled and newly renovated boutique hotel. This beautiful oceanfront property was the perfect starting point for creating a previously unmatched hotel design inspired by the stunning environment of Moonstone Beach. The property’s interior designer, Nina Freudenberger, has been an expert in her profession since 2003, and worked with PRG hospitality group to successfully bring the redesign of this particular hotel to life. Freudenberger shared her insight with Living Lavishly into what makes White Water such a special place to visit for an unforgettable Central Coast escape. Photo courtesy of White Water

When designing this lodge, Freudenberger sought to thoroughly integrate the unique Central Coast environmental textures which are standout fixtures of the landscape of Cambria. Within the interior spaces of the property, Freudenberger incorporated the “wild” feelings radiating from the raw elements of Cambria’s natural coastline, and paired this extreme feeling with the delicate, gentle elegance of the local emerald-needled Monterey pines. Cool colors and Earth tones adorn the walls and insides of the lodge which is complemented by the soft, dreamy fog outside, muting the color tones of the natural landscape in a peaceful, beautiful way. Each room is furnished with a gas fireplace, making the space as cozy as can be — even when the sun is hiding behind the local marine layer. “The beach - which is just steps away from White Water - and the town of Cambria are both incredible,” says Freudenberger on her favorite amenities on-site. “I have always loved the Central Coast of California, but there is something truly magical about this specific area. The

Photo courtesy of White Water

143 / Living Lavishly

Monterey Pines, just outside the window of the White Water lobby, are among my favorite features of this property. Such a special view.” The lodge comprises just 25 rooms which creates an intimate boutique-y feeling, overflowing with a sense of exceptional luxury. Each detail was personalized by design using custom furnishings and local artwork in an effort to create this unique Central Coast experience, and pay homage to the local artisans of the surrounding communities. Visitors can sense this distinct feeling immediately upon arrival. “What’s most special about White Water are all of the little details,” says Freudenberger. “We really focused on all of the small moments, routines and rituals that happen in a hotel room for a traveler and the experience of staying there, really brings them all to life.” On-site, there’s a lobby lounge offering a generous

Photo courtesy of White Water

selection of local wines, craft beers, ciders, and spirits. There’s also a selection of small bites and share plates created by the property’s talented Chef Jason Niederkorn - to enjoy either in a room with an ocean view, or as a to-go snack on the way to the adjacent beloved Moonstone Beach Boardwalk. For those who want to eat out and support a local restaurant, White Water hosts a fleet of Linus bikes which can transport guests across the quaint and welcoming small town effortlessly.

Photo courtesy of White Water

144 / Living Lavishly

Photo courtesy of White Water



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805-541-1100 • 3930 Broad St. 145 SLO/• Living Marigold Center Lavishly

Ragged Point Inn and Resort Ragged Point The current chapter of Ragged Point’s rich history began almost six decades ago, when Wiley and Mildred Ramey, who loved to invest in little pieces of land they loved that they found while traveling — purchased what is now Ragged Point Inn. Once part of the huge Hearst Ranch, the settlement itself was originally nothing special as a rusted gas station and a couple travel trailers. The Rameys were entranced by the natural beauty of Big Sur, and eventually persuaded the current landowner to part with his land to fulfill their vision. The family shaped it into a motel, gas station, and snack bar, welcoming each guest as if they were a long-lost family member.

Photo courtesy of Ragged Point Inn and Resort

The business continued to grow into what it is today, a dog-friendly site with 39 rooms, a gourmet restaurant, gift shop, artisan jewelry shop, coffee bar, and mini-market. The property is run by the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of Wiley and Mildred who work together to share in their hospitality vision. What hasn’t changed on-site is the property’s unparalleled views of the rugged California Big Sur coast.

HEY, Siri.

The on-site Ragged Point Plaza is open to guests


passing through the area, and traditionally on summer weekends, local bands perform on the Plaza free-of-charge.

Hands full? Just ask Siri to close your garage door! Serving the Central Coast Since 1964

146 / Living Lavishly

Photo by Michelle C. Torres-Grant Photography


Matthew Ramey, Assistant Manager at Ragged Point Inn and Resort shared the site’s history, and

“My favorite part of the property is the waterfall that connects the northern and southern peaks onsite, called ‘blacksmith falls.’ It’s the tallest waterfall in Big Sur... and in the rainy season it’s beautiful.” Key points of the grounds include the multiple hiking trails surrounding the main building, which lead to incredible views of the rugged coastline below, as well as the gazebo which offers beautiful sea views and a Public Art installation called, “Portal to Big Sur.” This wooden sculpture acts as a sort of “viewpoint” into the expanse of Big Sur.

detailed what makes the property an especially special destination to spend a weekend getaway. “In order for you to really experience the beauty of Big Sur and this region, you need to see it,” says Ramey. “It’s not something that you can get a true sense of before you see it with your own eyes.” Depending on the season, Ragged Point will evolve with the current scenic nature of Big Sur. In the summer, the property is oftentimes booked solid for weddings - but since Big Sur is beautiful all-year-round, Ramey recommends making a stop at the property in the wintertime. This is when it’s the most surreal, and guests will feel as if they have the coast to yourself.

Photo courtesy of Ragged Point Inn and Resort

147 / Living Lavishly

Photo La Lomita Ranch 148 /courtesy LivingofLavishly

La Lomita Ranch Edna Valley La Lomita Ranch is a quaint, warm and welcoming ranch-style B&B and Hacienda property located in the expansive open space of San Luis Obispo County’s Edna Valley. Hosting seven intimate rooms and a Hacienda which has been resorted from its original historic origins using the elegant style of California Romantica, this property is a destination that’s not to be missed for experiencing the best San Luis Obispo County’s hospitality offerings.

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Photo courtesy of La Lomita Ranch

Upon arrival, guests will notice the distinct details such

“We fell in love with its location and its beauty,” says

as the colorful Talavera tiles which accent the architecture

Vander Horst on her original infatuation with the ranch.

indoors, and the vibrant gardens which brighten the

“And we had a clear vision of what we needed it to look

surrounding grounds. All interior elements of the property

like, in terms of interior design and architectural detail...

have been authentically hand-designed including the

and we made it happen.”

custom crafted Mexican furnishings, Saltillo tile floors, and oil rubbed bronze fixtures.

Upon purchase, the land’s existing on-site buildings included a show barn and horse stalls which had fallen

This B&B has a rich history having been previously

into terrible disrepair during their years unoccupied and

owned and occupied by a Spanish Princess Marieta and

uncared for. With Rebecca Vander Horst’s oversight and

her husband, Prince Zourab, as the location for breeding

keen eye for design detail, the property was revamped

her internationally acclaimed Arabian horses. As time

and restored to become the warm and romantic destination

passed and ownership of the land changed hands it was

for a couple’s getaway or the ideal location for a secluded

eventually purchased by Alan and Rebecca Vander Horst

family outing in the hills of Edna Valley.

in 2011. The couple purchased 160 acres, and then 80 more, on which they currently host this luxurious B&B and Hacienda property.

150 / Living Lavishly

The horse stalls were turned into a bridal suite, six guest suites, and a lounge with a kitchen. The barn was

Pneumatic Vacuum Elevators

151 / Living Lavishly


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152 / Living Lavishly | Paso Robles Wine Country, California | 805-369-2500

Photo courtesy of La Lomita Ranch

transformed into a three-bedroom vacation rental.

her vision a reality while preserving many of the original

As a bonus, all rooms on-site are accessible from the

elements of the landmark buildings.

outside, making it a safe choice for traveling in isolation. It’s a scenic but outdoorsy destination with horses in the barn and cattle roaming the grounds grazing day and night.

“We kept finding bits of history in the barn and pulling it out and restoring it,” says Vander Horst on the final project. “All of the hardware and the doors on the exterior rooms were revamped, but it’s the original doors and

“It’s just such an elegant place, with such a happy feel

hardware. I stuck the original [horse] feeding racks back

to it,” says Vander Horst. “It’s warm, and it’s quiet, and

in the room. We had everything cleaned, de-rusted, and

peaceful. You feel like you’re in another place, much further from town and reality, when you’re on the ranch.” Every detail was crucial to Vander Horst when the property was being restored, and she worked hard to recreate the original glory of the historic Arabian horse farm while paving the way for an entirely new welcoming future for its guests. She collaborated with a number of local San Luis Obispo contractors to make

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153 / Living Lavishly

powder coated and rebuilt. We put the original railings back into the courtyard.” The project was a four year project from start to finish, and was opened in April of 2019 to welcome visitors craving a luxurious and relaxing escape just minutes from San Luis Obispo. “To think, ‘Wow, we did that. We created that and it became what it was supposed to become,’” says Vander Horst, on her favorite part of being able to finally host guests on-site. “All our energy and good feelings transferred into our space, for other people to feel - that’s it.”


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