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on the central coast

DIY Projects Declutter Your Home Home Design At Your Fingertips LIVING Lavishly


Y O U R H O M E S AY S A L O T A B O U T Y O U . W E’ R E H E R E TO LI S TE N . Your home is a reflection of you. Ferguson’s product experts are here to listen to every detail of your vision, and we’ll work alongside you and your designer, builder or remodeler to bring it to life. Our product experts will help you find the perfect products from the finest bath, kitchen and lighting brands in the world. Request an appointment with your own personal Ferguson product expert and let us discover the possibilities for your next project. Visit to get started.

SAN LUIS OBISPO 4546 BROAD ST (805) 541-2241 ©2017 Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. 0417 518214


Timeless quality with 50 years of tradition. Timeless quality with 50 years of tradition.

ARTISAN BUILDERS, weour work with our to customers evaluate lifestyle needs, design preferences, and ARTISANAtBUILDERS, we work with customers evaluate to lifestyle needs, design preferences, and budget considerations. As one of San Luis Obispo County’s finest licensed general contractors, we pride dget considerations. As one of San Luis Obispo County’s finest licensed general contractors, we pride ourselves on quality craftsmanship, dependability, andsatisfaction. customer satisfaction. ARTISAN BUILDERS will ourselves on quality craftsmanship, dependability, and customer ARTISAN BUILDERS will transform youravision a safe,and functional and aesthetically pleasing reality. transform your vision into safe, into functional aesthetically pleasing reality.


Design & Build Projects | Kitchen & Bath| Outdoor Specialists | Outdoor Living Spaces | Room Additions | Elevator Installation ign & Build Projects | Kitchen & Bath Specialists Living Spaces | Room Additions | Elevator Installation Interior & Exterior Stone| Decorative Installation Stamped | Decorative Stamped & Stained Concrete | Deck & Patio Waterproofing Interior & Exterior Stone Installation & Stained Concrete | Deck & Patio Waterproofing

13111 Lic# B213111

50 Years of Traditions 60 Years of Traditions Box 1127 • Grover Beach, 805-904-6435 CA 93483• 805-904-6435 PO Box 1127 PO • Grover Beach, CA 93483•

©2017 California Closet Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Each franchise independently owned and operated. CA875172

Experience the before and after

See their space before #CCBeforeAfter




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Publisher’s Note This issue of Living Lavishly has an assortment of beautiful high-end homes as well as creative DIY tips and projects. The variety of articles in this issue showcase what it means to live lavishly on the Central Coast. We have beautiful views, perfect weather, and a variety of resources that when combined with the incredible talent and enterprising attitude of our local homeowners, we are truly capable of anything. As a platform that features the talent in our area, Living Lavishly is growing and becoming recognized as a resource for people and businesses that can help make your home a personal oasis. With that in mind, this edition includes an article displaying ways to create a sanctuary spot in your home. Whether it is a trail, a spot by the sea, a tree in a park, your own backyard, or a blanket and cozy chair in your home, finding a sanctuary where we live is an important part of staying sane in this world we live in. We hope that through our publication, you can connect with someone that helps create a special place for you to dwell in as we live our amazing lives here on the Central Coast.

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features: HOMES Cayucos Home Built with Collaboration Architect Inspired Homes on the Central Coast ZNE: The Home of the Not-too-Distant Future Creating the Home of Their Dreams

8 26 36 44

OUTDOORS Living Lavishly Outdoors Unique Handcrafted Tools for the Grill Ways to Live Lavishly

20 52 88

DIY APPS—Landscaping at your fingertips APPS—DIY at your fingertips DIY—Pallet Board Screen Door Make Your Own Tablescape APPS—Home Design at your fingertips DIY—Cheese Grater Turn Towel Hook Step-by-step Simply Fall Wreath

39 50 62 66 74 INTERIOR DESIGN 80 Design Trends—Sanctuary Spot 82 Decorating with Local Art Six Tips to Simplify Your Home Seasons of Change Warmth and Style with Fireplaces Transitioning a Child's Room


ENTERTAINING Design Trends—Bar Cart Essentials The History of Setting the Table Sparkling Wine or Champagne?

14 16 40 56 68 76 60 64 84

40 60 c o m m u n i t y n ews • d i g i t a l p r e s e n c e • eve n t s • m a g a z i n e s

Avila Beach News

Call (805) 543-NEWS

615 Clarion Ct., #2, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401


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get cooking

Kathleen Snyder food caterer, blogger and partner of Talley Farms Fresh Harvest.


What inspires 55

PUBLISHERS Bret Colhouer Lani Colhouer ART & DESIGN Christy Serpa Michelle Johnson Christi Downs MARKETING Dave Diaz Justin Stoner Mike Lee Karita Hårrskog

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Theresa-Marie Wilson SALES Carrie Vickerman Dana McGraw Jessica Micklus Rose Cutrer Tina Mitchell Zorina Ricci PROJECT COORDINATOR Tina Mitchell



Kathleen Snyder Jayne Behman L & M Landscape Isaman Design Andrew Goodwin Designs Garcia Architecture & Design Jennifer Rennick Karita Hårrskog Patricia Nelson Frederick Harpster Kevin Mulholland John Ewan Virginia Marum Michelle Starnes Ehron Baskin Camay Arad Samantha Nason Chanda Brown Linda Georgeadis Eliana de Leon Carol Lambert Holly Holliday

Chris Gardner Anya McInroy Kori Kristine Photography

This is a publication of Simply Clear Marketing and Media, Inc., Copyright 2007–2017 all rights reserved. One free copy per person. Additional copies can be obtained at our offices 615 Clarion Court, #2, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93401. Simply Clear Marketing and Media makes every reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy of its contents. Please notify us if information is incorrect.

Central Coast? living lavishly on the

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phone (805) 543-6397 fax (805) 772-4625 615 Clarion Ct., #2, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

615 Clarion Ct, #2 • SLO 805-543-6397 •

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Cayucos Home Built with Collaboration


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hen Lori and Ron contracted with Frederick and Kevin of Residential Custom Builders to remodel their vacation home in Cayucos they introduced Patricia with Greywood Home & Garden to Lori to assist her in interpreting her vision for the beach house. Lori has a great sense of style so she took the lead in the direction for the design. Lori’s home is also a place where her family comes to gather and enjoy time together so it had to be comfortable and have a relaxing vibe, which all had to be taken into consideration when formulating the design.

design. The existing kitchen was cut off from the living room and from the view of the ocean. So, with only minor wall modifications, the wall between the living space and the kitchen was opened with a fully cased opening designed to be architectural as well as to compliment the kitchen cabinetry. A bench seat built backing up to the kitchen cabinetry to save space, serves as a spot for family and friends to take in the view while they are enjoying each other’s company. Herringbone marble tile at the splash, a quartz solid surface, called Sleek Concrete, at the counter top and glass door uppers finish the kitchen.

Space planning is always the first phase of

continued, page 10 LIVING Lavishly


There was only one bathroom on this level and Lori wanted a full master bath accessible from the master bedroom and, what the designer would call, a “jewel box powder room.� This took a lot of creative space planning skills to perfect while at the same time removing only a minimum amount of wall space.

The existing knotty pine ceiling was painted a high gloss shade of white to lighten and brighten the space. The existing brick on the fireplace was also painted and casework added for the flat screen as well as bead board detailing for a nod to traditional and classic beach houses. The master suite is a place of retreat for Lori and Ron. The entertainment unit houses the flat screen as well as closet and drawer space. The master bath features a luxurious makeup vanity and a beautiful closet behind mirrored closet doors. The shower is curbless for ease of access.


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The guestrooms are cozy and all about the bed. They are a place for family and friends to feel enveloped under a fluffy comforter and recharge for another day at the beach as well as Lori’s life of the party personality. The furnishings are a collaboration between designer and homeowner. The marriage of contemporary and classic design elements is what defines this homes freshness and appeal. It’s all Lori! Patricia Nelson with Greywood Home & Garden along with Frederick Harpster and Kevin Mulholland with Residential Custom Builders, located on the scenic Central Coast, are three professionals who collaborate on residential remodels and new construction. Their joint efforts of design and craftmanship help bring the clients vision of their home to completion. Find them at (805) 801-6256 and (805) 772-0271 respectively. Most photos provided by: Kori at

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“Quality Renovations for Generations” Cascade has been family owned & operated since 1994. With over 27 years’ experience we have the unique ability to provide truly elegant design solutions for our clients. Whether it be mobility issues, aging in place, or simply wishing to improve their homes interior or exterior; our goal is to offer the highest quality products installed with true timeless design and craftsmanship. Jonathan White Sr. Jonathan White Jr. CSLB #684444

Our walk-in tubs are equipped with dual drain evacuation for the fastest draining tubs on the market along with frosted glass door adding a more finished luxury feel. We also offer curb-less barrier free showers featuring lineal drain and invisible drains.

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get cooking


1 lb. snap peas, string removed, ends trimmed and halved kernels from 2 ears fresh corn 6 oz. artichoke hearts, mild marinade-drained and sliced 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved 10 fresh basil leaves, julienned garlic clove, pressed 2 ½ teaspoon red wine vinegar 2 ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil zest of ½ lemon Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS Combine the snap peas, corn, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and basil in a large serving bowl. In a small jar, add the red wine vinegar, cider vinegar, olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Seal the jar tight and shake until emulsified.

Microwave the ears of corn in their husks for 2 minutes. Cut the stalk end at the widest point and hold the ear by the opposite end. Shake to release the ear of corn free of husk and silk. This makes it much easier to cut the kernels off and it’s still tender crisp for the salad.

Drizzle the salad with the dressing and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Kathleen Snyder is a food caterer, educator and blogger currently partnering with Talley Farms Fresh Harvest CSA providing recipes showcasing their produce. She is a San Luis Obispo County Yelp Elite reviewer and also writes reviews on for restaurants all over the world.

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Design Trends By Mari Robeson, Interior Designer

Let’s face it, life is busy! It seems as though time is going faster and faster. At moments it can feel as if it will be impossible to catch up with all the items on our never ending to-do list. When life becomes like a spinning hamster wheel, then we know it’s time to take a moment and create a place where we can rest and rejuvenate. Creating a sanctuary spot just for you in your home doesn’t have to be complicated but it will be one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Find a place in your home that feels somewhat secluded. If you have a room where you can close the door that’s wonderful, but it can be as simple as a corner of your bedroom or even a comfortable patio chair outside. Clear the clutter. If you have an ideal corner in mind to create your sanctuary spot but it’s full of clutter it won’t be a restful place to stay. First clear the clutter from your space. In Feng Shui this process gets rid of “stuck energy.” Whether you believe it or not, think about how you feel the next time you walk into a room that was just cleaned and all items put away as opposed to walking into a room full of clutter.

Co zy Th ro

Decorate your space with meaningful items that bring you joy and create comfort. Have a few cozy throw blankets on hand as well as good lighting if you like to read or write in your journal in your downtime. Living plants are beautiful to add to your decor but they also serve a dual purpose of cleaning the air of toxic chemicals. Plants such as peace lily, aloe vera, bamboo palm and spider plants remove formaldehyde and xylene. Boston ferns and philodendron also cleanse the air. It’s always a good idea before bringing a plant into your home to make sure that it is safe for pets and children. Design your space keeping all the senses in West Elm rom F mind. A scented candle and soft music can s t instantly create a soothing atmosphere. Choose ke n a l pillows that are soft and comfortable and B decorate with photos or paintings that make w you happy. Fresh flowers elevate a space from ordinary to special. Even if you just cut a single rose from your garden, placing it in a small bud vase on your side table will do wonders in saying that you designate this place as your special sanctuary. The ritual of creating a beautiful space just for yourself is important. If you don’t take the time to take care of yourself, even if it’s just for twenty minutes a day, you won’t be able to care for all of those around you. Now that you’ve created a perfect place to enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee, crawl on in and snuggle up. You absolutely deserve it! Want more fun tips on how to decorate and style your home? Check out Mari’s new and fully illustrated book Charming & Pretty The ART Of Home. Available at: To learn more about the benefits of indoor house plants check out NASA’s Clean Air Study.


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Get The Look

Oversized Comfortable Furniture - A Warm Cup Of Tea Air Cleansing Plants - Good Lighting Scented Candles - A Journal & Pen Warm Cozy Blankets



ay. how tter.

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Tea Cup & Candle From Anthropologie, Roberto Chaise From Z Gallerie, Lamp From Ballard Designs, Blanket From West Elm LIVING Lavishly


Decorating with Local Art S

an Luis Obispo County offers unlimited land and sea views that are breathtaking year round. Tree foliage changes in fall send golden messages. Winter cloud formations can be dense and foreboding. Fields of wild flowers are colorful and spellbinding in spring as are newborn calves and foals. Summer temperatures attract land and sea activities and are unlimited. Daily changing tides affect seascapes and are never the same. The Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, Hearst Castle, Morro Rock and the Elephant Seals can’t be viewed anywhere else. Weathered sea vessels tell stories. The area also boasts countless bird and fish varieties. Nature lovers hike and bike into areas that are cause for meditation. Many county vistas can only be experienced from the ocean by kayakers and paddle boarders. Exotic car shows excite automobile buffs as well as others because they are rare sights. Deer, wild turkeys, and rabbits walk the golf courses. Sipping wine at award winning and sprawling vineyards is a favorite pastime.


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Local artists are sensitive to this area. They tell these stories, unique to this area in there paintings, photographs, and sculptures. Their creations record settings and stir emotions. Collecting original art doesn’t equate to being a millionaire. It is not difficult to find the perfect match to jar a memory. San Luis Obispo prides itself on being home to many artists working in different disciplines. The first step in purchasing a piece of art is finding it. Get out and see it. A “Who’s Who” publication of artists in this area does not exist. Visit local galleries, attend art fairs, and be a participant during open studio tours. Finding the perfect fit comes from a wealth of options. Every October Arts Obispo (a local non-profit) produces an annual Open Studios tour. This free countywide event is the public’s opportunity to experience a wide range of art objects and meet the artists who create them. A testimony to their craft, chatting with an artist is often the first step in a purchase. What inspired the artist to create the piece will inspire the owner to live with it.

End of semester college and high school student shows feature budding skilled artists most of whom are not yet tied to galleries. The art purchase of an upcoming artist today may be of great value tomorrow. The artist you like is likely to have an online presence. This allows a potential buyer to view more of the artist’s work. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter reflect the artist’s brand and voice. Pinterest galleries can further the décor options by offering ideas on wall colors, framing, hanging, and grouping the art in a way that is cohesive. Mix it up to create interest to an angular design. Don’t rush purchases. With time the perfect fit for decorating needs, now and for the future, will present itself and in the end will best represent its owner. There is no proper way to display your art. Paintings don’t have to hang on walls at eye level. Objects can be displayed

in any manner. Rather than hanging all the paintings on the walls, set up an easel, high or low, to display a painting, or two. Art doesn’t have to be classified as a painting, photograph, or sculpture; it can be books piled high with a piece of glass on top as a side table. Creativity is unlimited. Consider the space. The art displayed in your home should resonate the owner’s personality, experiences and values. Don’t second-guess a piece that brings personal joy. If the color or style doesn’t seem to fit with the decor, there’s always a way to make it work. Plan for lighting because this element in decorating is the key for preserving art and also showing it off; avoid dark corners and harsh glares. Don’t place 3-D works in narrow or high-traffic spots. There is no need to turn a home into a stark gallery, but, neutral furniture and accessories can help art pop. continued, page 18

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A large collection of art can be interactive. Change an ambiance by changing the art collection. Tie decor into seasons, trends, and/or party themes. Interior design does not have to be static. Art that is abstract can be hung side by side with art that is recognizable. There are no rules and there is no requirement to have a cohesive look. What came first, the art or the couch? There’s no right answer. Decorating with local art connects the person with the environment and with the community. Share this environment inscribed forever in the talent and creativity of the local artists. The art in the home reflects the things that make life in San Luis Obispo County memorable and unique to the homeowner. Jayne Behman has more than 40 years experience in all aspects in the field and business of fine arts and holds a degree from UCLA. She is a writer and visual artist with years of experience placing art in homes that expresses the client’s unique personality. For more information visit www. or call (805) 234-3634.


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Living Lavishly Outdoors


he Central Coast offers outdoor lovers the opportunity to create a place of serenity in their own yards all year long. Whether it is blooming flowers, decorative grasses, or inviting hardscapes it can be done around your home. The front yard was reconstructed to create an inviting entry to this coastal home. Tempered glass screen and solid redwood fence create privacy on their outdoor deck while allowing for nice ocean views. Night lighting was added along the steps and path that enhances the entry.

continued, page 22


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This was a really fun project on a ranch along the Central Coast. With breathtaking mountain views on all sides we were privileged to landscape around this 100-year-old bridge and pool. We installed synthetic turf and landscaped with grasses, agaves, “sunset gold” diosma, and arbutus ‘marina’ trees.

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Madelyn’s Apparel

Open Tuesday - Saturday • 10:30 AM - 5:30 PM 893 Oak Park Blvd., Pismo Beach OSH/CVS Shopping Center 805-473-8001

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This backyard was reinvented to incorporate a pergola for shade with a Tuscany look by adding an old world fountain and stone pillars. Purple fountain grasses, rosemary, sages, and leucadendron were planted for red accents. continued, page 24

㄀㄀㄀㐀 ☀ ㄀㄀㄀㠀 䜀愀爀搀攀渀 匀琀⸀ 䐀漀眀渀琀漀眀渀 匀䰀伀 㠀 㔀⸀㔀㐀㌀⸀㠀㄀㠀㘀 䜀愀爀搀攀渀匀琀爀攀攀琀䜀漀氀搀猀洀椀琀栀猀⸀挀漀洀

This front yard on a hill is so inviting with the Tuscany look of stone steps and pillars with lighting. We accented with burgundy pots and landscaped with grasses, rosemary, thyme, Mexican sage, New Zealand flax, and guara.

The owner found a French vase that we crafted into a fountain. We added an arbor with the sweet smell of a star jasmine vine, and added thyme, rosemary, salvia, and yellow carex for a nice accent that complements the home.

L & M Design and Landscape, located at 2001 Willow Dr. in Los Osos, builds all types of hardscapes, pergolas, decks, walls, outdoor kitchens, gazebos, sheds, playhouses, fireplaces, all types of planting designs. Visit them at LMLandscape. net, or they can be reached at (805) 528-8247.


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This front paver patio was created to sit and enjoy a sunny afternoon with colorful pelargoniums and purple Agonis trees with red ivy geraniums in terra-cotta pots that contrasts nicely against the blues/grey home.

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4990 Traffic Way, Atascadero




Architect Inspired Hom the Central Coast H

omes in San Luis Obispo County are as varied as the people who live in them. Designs by area architects include everything from modern to Mediterranean, craftsman to contemporary. Whether you are in the dream stage or planning a project, these homes are a source of inspiration. 26

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Nutrient Dense Weekly Meals Made Accessible

mes on MID-CENTURY MODERN, ARCHITECT STUDIO 2G ARCHITECTS A 1940’s San Luis Obispo bungalow, remodeled into a dramatic and stylish mid-century modern home design by Heidi Gibson, principal at studio2G Architects. continued, page 28

Do you want weekly prepared, ready to eat, real food meals with no shopping or preparation? Order made from scratch real food meals at: or 805-748-5121 Affordable, locally sourced, gourmet crafted meals for weekly delivery or pickup.

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Visit our booth at the Inspired Home & Garden Expos of SLO 541 Five Cities Dr - Pismo Beach (805) 295-6585 28

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SANTA YSABEL RANCH, ARCHITECT ISAMAN DESIGN Located in the Santa Ysabel Ranch community of Paso Robles, this contemporary ranch style home is characterized by dramatic overhangs, a stone clad spine wall and massive planes of glass that look across the sprawling backyard and hills beyond. Isaman Design, Inc. created an idyllic family home with space for entertaining, relaxing and enjoying the temperate California climate. (left)

CRAFTSMAN HOME, ARCHITECT ISAMAN DESIGN On a quiet cul-de-sac not too far from downtown San Luis Obispo sits this craftsman styled residence, with a contemporary spin. Designed by Bill Isaman of Isaman Design, Inc. this house is notable for its multilevel living spaces and careful consideration of the surrounding landscape and adjacent ecological preserve. (below) continued, page 30

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CONTEMPORARY HOME, ARCHITECT ISAMAN DESIGN Situated in the San Luis Drive neighborhood of San Luis Obispo, this contemporary styled residence designed by Isaman Design, Inc. has provided a fresh take on the vocabulary of the traditional homes in the surrounding area. Smooth finish stucco, a standing seam metal roof, and a Texas limestone clad spine wall blend seamlessly with the warmer trim accents and clear cedar eaves to create an iconic but practical living space.

THE DIABLO RESIDENCE, ARCHITECT ANDREW GOODWIN DESIGNS Designed to reflect the owner’s love of modern homes and craftsman furnishing, this 2500 square-foot home boasts an open floor plan and gorgeous views. The Diablo Residence is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home on an acre of land looking into the San Luis Obispo coastal range. The constant communication with the views and nature were extremely important. continued, page 32


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MONTE SERENO, ARCHITECT ISAMAN DESIGN Located in the hills of Arroyo Grande, this traditional Mediterranean styled residence is designed on a central axis that focuses on a lofty great room space and spacious pool area. Bill Isaman of Isaman Design, Inc. used the floor plan to highlight the sweeping valley views and native oaks that flank the property.

MID CENTURY MODERN, GARCIA ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN Located in beautiful San Luis Obispo, this residential remodel plus addition started off as a request by the owners to “fix a few issues” with their newly acquired single-story mid-century house. After a few months of prioritizing, wish-listing, and soul-searching, this small remodel effort evolved into reimagined and sophisticated mid-century modern home.


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TERAZZA, GARCIA ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN This newly constructed, ultra-modern tri-plex is nestled against the South Hills Open Space in San Luis Obispo. This 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath home features an open concept living area, covered deck and a cozy rear yard. continued, page 35

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GO SOLAR! New Construction Residential & Commercial Shingle Roofs Cedar Shake and alternatives Rubber Slate, Real Slate, True Slate Metal Shingles, Stone Coated Solar Tubes, Skylights Standing Seam Metal, Corrugated Single Ply Systems PVC, TPO Modified Bitumen, BUR Metal Siding PV Solar Installs Tile Roofs (Clay & Concrete)

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BORERRO LOFT, GARCIA ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN This spacious contemporary condominium in San Luis Obispo is part of a historical preservation project that tastefully integrates new contemporary office and living spaces into an iconic 20th century Romanesque Revival style brick commercial building. Perfect for indoor-outdoor entertaining, a very wide opening glass wall connects the living and dining areas to a spacious roof-top deck with amazing views. Photos and information provided by American Institute of Architects (AIA) Central California Coast, a member of the national organization for licensed architects, emerging professionals, and allied partners. Visit them at

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Chet’s Tubular Skylights

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ZNE: The Home of the Not-too-Distant Future


Stern Home, a ZNE home built in Grover Beach by The Energy Experts. Images courtesy Neil Donaldson,

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Why Californians are Embracing Zero Net Energy Home Design


special class of homes is emerging in the US and abroad, and especially here in California. We refer to these low energy use homes as Zero Net Energy—ZNE for short. In simple terms, a ZNE house will produce as much energy as it will consume over the course of one year through clean renewable resources. ZNE buildings are becoming the new standard for achieving significant energy savings and reducing emissions in the built environment. Many existing houses in the US, and especially in California, have reached ZNE status. Many others are very low energy users but lack only a few solar panels or an official third party certification. Nonetheless, ZNE is still a new term, if not a new concept, for those outside of the construction and energy technology trades. So what’s it all about? CALIFORNIA’S BIG, BOLD GOAL To save massive amounts of energy and get the highest performance from all homes, California has set itself a big, bold goal: by the year 2020, all new residential construction will be ZNE. California, as a state, has been very proactive about shifting our reliance away from fossil fuels and toward clean renewable energy. What this means to people in California is less dependence on foreign oil, less pollution, and more energy reliability. It also continues our legacy as leaders in efficiency and clean energy, and creates opportunities for those with the talent, expertise, and drive to be part of the building future. THE HOME OF THE FUTURE For many of us, “the home of the future” looks something like the Jetson’s sky dome residence, with Rosie the robot-maid cleaning up while Jane prepares breakfast at the auto-meal machine. While most of that technology is still very futuristic, there are some things the Jetson residence does have in common with today’s ZNE homes. They are comfortable. Did you ever see Judy or Jane all bundled up in a coat because their house was too cold? ZNE homes are designed to create a perfectly comfortable existence—warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and each room is comfortable to the occupants. continued, page 38


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They have lower utility costs. Having a comfortable home doesn’t have to mean cranking up the heat or air conditioning. Because a ZNE home produces as much energy through clean renewable sources as it uses, energy costs are low or non-existent. Maintenance of systems can also be much lower. They are healthy. ZNE homes focus on comprehensive indoor air quality and whole house water protection, meaning occupants breathe cleaner air and avoid the moisture problems that can lead to mold and mildew, and ultimately, allergies. They have higher sales appeal and appraisal value. Because ZNE homes are comfortable, healthy, and cost competitive, they also come with a higher resale value. Building or buying one is a smart investment!

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They are sustainable. ZNE homeowners exemplify their choice for sustainable living, while dramatically reducing their impact on the environment. We have the technology, ingenuity, and leadership to make ZNE an affordable reality. Current technologies, products, and systems are tested, proven, and available. Incentives are high now in California—if you are building a home, be sure you’re meeting the 2020 goals. Jennifer, both an architect and a Certified Energy Analyst, specializes in energy use optimization, including passive solar design, whole building energy use, zero net energy, and energy modeling and analysis. She can be reached at In Balance Green Consulting at (805) 235-6355.

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LANDSCAPE at your Fingertips


ISCAPE Spectacular landscape designs made easy with iScape! When you’re planning a new garden, or considering a change to an established one, it can be difficult to visualize the results. This is where iScape comes in hand.

HOME OUTSIDE Home Outside is a landscape design app with all the tools you need to mock up your property, create new designs, and share them with friends and family. Ideal for homeowners who want to try out fresh ideas for their yard. Useful for landscape professionals to share designs with clients and contractors.

SMITH Plan a landscaping remodel, new garden, or maintain your front and backyard, and turn your house into your dream home with this application. Save time and money with landscaping estimator and expert customer service.

LANDSCAPING IDEAS An app that shows you the best galleries of beautiful landscaping ideas for all spaces in your home. If you don’t have an idea about your landscaping ideas, this application can guide you easily and give you amazing ideas for your home decoration.

HOME DESIGN 3D OUTDOOR & GARDEN The simple, intuitive, and comprehensive Home Design 3D Outdoor & Garden applications has all the features that made Home Design 3D such a success (number 1 application on IOS with over 25 million downloads throughout the world). The app will help you fulfill your exterior design dreams quickly and easily, whatever your idea. Design your garden, come up with your ideal outdoor space, create a play area, organize your openair wedding and more!

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Six Tips to Simplify Your Home


n today’s hectic and stress inducing lifestyle, it’s more important than ever to create a peaceful and calm environment in the home. People are not meant for the collective sense of urgency found in our high-tech society. The modern world sets off frequent stressors but our homes should not. The home should be a sanctuary, a place to re-charge, refresh, relax, and reconnect. Even in the midst of the chaos that is life, imagine walking into your home, shedding the constant to-do list and demands of the digital age, and letting peace and calm take its place. “We are noticing that more and more people are simplifying their homes in order to establish a sense of harmony and control,” said Karen Deering of Modelhom. “They feel the stress of everyday life and they are tired.” It becomes difficult to relax in a space that has so much going on visually that the eyes race from one element to the next. People are moving from visually stimulating décor to clean, simple lines, and modern furniture, there-


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by simplifying their cognitive intake. It’s not uncommon to change from an eclectic and knickknack heavy décor to a modern less is more approach. In her book Place Advantage: Applied Psychology for Interior Architecture, Sally Augustin, PhD, states that when people look at their space (the furniture, accessories, layout, and design), they are influenced psychologically by color, texture, the amount of light, the forms of objects, how those forms are arranged, and whether lines are curved or straight. There is an unconscious emotional response to our homes. With all the noise and information clutter in our brains, people are desperate to reduce the “noise” and clutter in their homes.

Below are six tips on creating peace and calm in the home using a modern approach: ADD SOME GLASS PIECES OF FURNITURE Modern homes tend to incorporate lots of glass. Glass furniture makes a space look bigger. Modern home design is meant to maximize space so you never feel cramped. A glass top dining table or coffee table allows the eyes to move through the furniture creating an illusion of more space as well as eliminating the mystery of what lies beyond it, which causes unconscious stress. BRIGHT LIGHT OR DIM LIGHT Lighter and brighter spaces are perceived as less crowded and can increase the energy level in the room. Dimmer light creates a calming and relaxing mood, prompting a desire to connect or reflect deeply. Depending on what you need—to re-vamp your energy level or relax—will determine the amount of light you should incorporate into your space. APPROPRIATE COLOR Lighter color furniture appears lightweight, while darker colored furniture appears heavier. Too many dark pieces of furniture, even dark artwork, curtains, rugs, etc., can create a heavy environment altering the mood and depleting energy. Try working in lighter colored furniture or accessories to lighten the atmosphere.

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SIMPLE LINES There is a misnomer that modern homes are cold and unwelcoming—this does not have to be the case. A modern style home exchanges the elaborate detail of a traditional style home with clean lines, and the many small collectables/accessories for one or two big pieces of art. Instead of our eyes and brains having to process all the detail, the brain can relax and process the room as a whole. BRING THE OUTDOORS INSIDE There is an inherent desire for humans to be outside and to connect with the natural environment. Images of nature scenes such as open fields and big skies create a sense of peace and calm. Having wood floors, plants, and wood furniture incorporates natural elements into the home and elevates the mood. Consider choosing modern furniture with solid wood, some glass, and clean lines incorporated into them, as well as art that reflect a place in nature that you want to be. DE-CLUTTER THE BAD MOJO According to Dr. Augustin, sensory history should be considered when designing a space. The items on display in


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the home have memories attached to them. These memories by all account could be positive, however, even a small amount of negative memory attached to these items will affect the emotions. When the associations are negative these reminders can be draining. Consider purging items that are associated with undesirable feelings. There are many ways to make your home relaxing and a true place of refuge; these are just a few. Start with the above ideas and see how your mood is affected. Guests too will notice a difference, even if they can’t identify exactly what it is. Our five senses take in a lot of information and our brains process only a fraction of it. It will be interesting to see how stress is lowered by following these simple tips! Designer Michelle Starnes and owners of Modelhom, Karen and James Deering, have been in the interior design industry for over 14 years and have helped thousands of people re-design and furnish their homes. Visit or call (805) 489-4277 for your next furniture purchase or design project. Article written by Rachel Brockett of Modelhom.


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3598 Broad Street, San Luis Obispo | 805-541-7117

Showroom Hours: Tues.-Fri. 10:00-5:30, Sat. 10:00-4:00 or by appointment

Creating the Home of Their By Judy Salamacha, Photos by Christopher Gardner


lthough San Luis Obispo was their first choice, Dan and Michelle Koff spent eight months living out of their fifth wheel searching for the perfect retirement community once they left Sebastopol. They concluded Newport Beach wasn’t “our town” and headed north to find a home. “We returned to SLO mid-March,” explained Michelle, “and immediately called our awesome realtor Hawley of Comet Realty. She told us to check on a new property about to be listed. We arrived at Bahia Court on Monday along with the other realtors and made an offer that was accepted.” Not only did the home have “good bones,” but Michelle and Dan could feel karma in the house that Harmon and Marjorie (Marj) Toone built from 1968-70. Professionally, Harmon headed the dairy science program at Cal Poly (1952-1977) and Marj was a librarian for 20 years for San Luis Obispo County. Personally, they enjoyed 58 years as devoted partners and parents to two children, Michele and Kathy, and grandparents to three grandchildren.


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The Koffs valued what the Toones had built—a sanctuary to commune with nature bordered by lush foliage Harmon and Marj had planted adjacent to a year-round creek with just enough open space to view Edna Valley and Irish Hills. They felt the home’s vitality oozing from the kitchen, dining room and multiple decks designed to complement both owner’s love of cooking and entertaining. After purchasing the home in March of 2015, the Koffs camped out for four months in the downstairs, barbecuing nightly until the upstairs living space was remodeled. Harmon had previously written a daily journal of the challenges encountered while building the Bahia home. Michelle said his words were her salvation during their remodel. “We would check each day what the contractor completed. It was good we were here since his crew missed a few things that we could have him fix,” Michelle remarked. Like the Toones, the Koffs were hands-on throughout the process even doing some of the work themselves. Dan



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was a mechanical engineer. Michelle had been in telecommunications, but had previously built a home. Unlike the Toones, the Koffs had a better experience. “Our contractor did 99% of the work,” said Michelle. “He hired good people. We did lots of little things like cabling on the decks, painting baseboards and clean-up.” In contrast, Harmon’s documented saga began June 9, 1968 and continued through October 1, 1970. He detailed minor and major challenges that required his diligence. More than once he wrote, “No work. Disgusting...” and lamented “shoddy” workmanship, then persisted to schedule meetings to keep workers on task during a year when rain was copious­—even at flood-levels. “Marj and Michele were driving around Johnson Highlander,” he writes. They found the “lot with a creek in the back with a tree and a view.” He was “enticed” to see it that day. Lot 8 had been turned back so they optioned it – putting “…a huge dent in our savings” to purchase it one month later. continued, page 45

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Master bedroom before (below), and after (above)

Kitchen before below left and after, below right


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Exterior after (above), and before (below)

On July 16, Harmon pruned and cleared the property of poison oak and helped Ethan Jennings, AIA, measure for the land survey. Harmon and Marj accepted one of Jennings’ three design plans on September 9 and hired him as the general contractor. Their construction loan from Security Bank was $33,250. Harmon would oversee the progress and research and order materials the couple had selected. Marj monitored the budget. On January 8, Harmon made his biggest mistake accept-

ing a contract with the foundation and framing sub-contractor who would complain regularly about “excavation footings on rock” and make promises then excuses why his workers were not on the job. Tired of the “discussions” and “shoddy work” Harmon tried to settle-up with him on April 30. Exasperated by June 3, he and Jennings sent a registered letter releasing him from the job. On August 15, they negotiated a $700 settlement for work Harmon would need to fix and made the final payment to sever the rocky relationship. continued, page 48 LIVING Lavishly


Harmon, however, had no control over his other major challenge. The rains came January 19-21—10-inches on Saturday—2-inches in 28-minutes on Sunday. Flooding was down Marsh, Higuera and beyond Broad. Rain plagued the job’s progress through June. However, after draining ditches Harmon had helped dig, they were forewarned to protect the foundation with slump-stone if if there was ever again another “creek-rise.” Generally, the sub-contractors stayed on the job and fulfilled the design elements desired. Installation of the wrong vinyl flooring pattern was quickly re-installed and Harmon took it in stride when the ceramic Mexican tiles came later than hoped and un-prepped. By July 26 Harmon and Jennings created a “finish schedule.” PG&E hooked them up August 1 and the family moved in August 7. However, they washed dishes in the bathtub for a week, and it wasn’t until November 7 that plumbing was finished in the bar and laundry sinks – the same day the Toones received the inspection and final approval. Today, Michelle and Dan—just as Harmon and Marj before them—enjoy being the hub-home for neighborhood visits within “the Bahia Court village.”


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What was once the third bedroom was turned into an open office space, continuing the open flow. An awkward second bathroom layout with two doors was reworked to have more hen clients Michelle and Dan Koff made the decision to move from Sebastopol to SLO to be closer to family, storage and modern amenities. they found a well built and loved home that, although cutting The master suite was made over to allow for a much larger edge for its time, was in need of a little updating. bathroom. Michelle’s request was to add a nice soaking tub so the space from the original pantry was given to the new The home was in its mostly original condition from when master bath. Double vanities, a nice sized shower, and a toilet it was built in 1968. The home had some terrific bones, but room round out the new bathroom. Adding built-in cabinets it needed some modern design. Dan and Michelle had great vision from the start and their organic style blended well with in the bedroom was the compromise to replace the closet space that was removed for the new layout. the original style of the home.



The first request was to open up the living spaces so there would be direct sight lines through the public spaces to take in the views of the city and the surrounding trees. A classic and clever but non-functional built-in bar cabinet was removed to open up the dining space to the living space. Once that cabinet was removed, the sunlight was able to stream into the dining room.

New hardwood acacia flooring keeps ones eye flowing throughout the home. Larger decks were built to allow for indoor/outdoor living. Built by a local craftsman, a custom designed organic-styled mahogany and fused glass front door welcomes guests to the modern home.

The original owners and family members would be happy to see the new changes as the integrity of the original home The kitchen was then opened up to flow easily into the dining has been kept in tact—we were able to update the home with today’s modern amenities while keeping the design timeless. room. What was originally a galley style kitchen is now an open entertaining space where the cooks can be a part of the Dan and Michelle can now create new memories in their party. An awkward storage cabinet in the nook was removed beautiful home and enjoy their active SLO lifestyle. and replaced with a counter height table to take advantage of Ehron Baskin is a licensed interior designer with dc2, a full faceted the trees and beautiful view. New windows and functioning interior design firm specializing in residential and commercial design. sliding doors were upgraded to provide more efficiency. For more information, the website is







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at your Fingertips


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Unique Handcrafted Tools for the Grill F

or some folks barbequing is an art form, for others it is a rite of passage, and for almost all, from the cooks to the diners, it is an opportunity to share a meal with friends and family. Whether you are an amateur or an aficionado, tools are a very important part of the cooking experience. Finding essential tools is fairly easy, but finding custom-made gear is not as easy walking into a big box store or scrolling through pages online. Garden Street Goldsmiths offers a unique take on barbeque utensils for the pitmaster in your life. In the spring of 1997, a farrier went to a local high school and offered to teach how to properly fire a coal forge.


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He grabbed a piece of old scrap steel and began to heat and work it against an old anvil, using subtle but powerful blows of his hammer. That was the beginning of the evolution that eventually gave rise to these specially built BBQ tools. It was then that J. David Hillebrecht grabbed an old horseshoe and over the following hours heated, worked, and transformed it into a basic, if unattractive, but useful BBQ hook. But when Amanda Stephens brought her talents to the forge, form finally equaled function. By introducing twists, turns, combinations of patterns, and even piercing a client’s brand or initials into the handle, the basic and humble BBQ tools became functional works of art. 

Each tool one has a personality and a story. Each one shows the wear and tear that its previous owner (a horse) bestowed upon it. When possible the original nails are embedded in the piece. Sometimes the creators can even tell you the name of the horse that a shoe came off of! Garden Street Goldsmiths & Estate Jewelry is located at 1114 & 1118 Garden Street in San Luis Obispo. They can be visited at or reached at (805) 543-8186.

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get cooking


2 cups low sodium chicken broth 1 ½ cups couscous 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, separated 8 green onions, thinly sliced white & green parts ½ cup pine nuts 1 cup golden raisins Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Turn off the heat and immediately stir the couscous into the broth. Cover the pan and let stand for 5-7 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a fry pan. Add the green onions and pine nuts, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and the pine nuts are toasted, about 5 minutes. Be sure not to burn the nuts. Uncover and fluff the couscous with a fork. Add it to the fry pan with the onion mixture. Add the raisins and stir to mix. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with more oil if desired before serving.

Kathleen Snyder is a food caterer, educator and blogger currently partnering with Talley Farms Fresh Harvest CSA providing recipes showcasing their produce. She is a San Luis Obispo County Yelp Elite reviewer and also writes reviews on Delish-Dish. com for restaurants all over the world. www.

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Seasons of Change


iving on California’s Central Coast is certainly all about the enjoyment of our great temperate year-round climate. For those of us who miss the seasonal changes of Mother Nature, we must look for ways to incorporate the seasons in our home’s décor. An easy and great way to welcome a new season starts at the front door with a changeable front door wreath. Use a basic twig or greenery wreath from a craft store as the base. Embellish the wreath with ribbons, silk flowers and ornaments to highlight the corresponding season.


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Toss pillows have always been a staple for an affordable and changeable décor. Make sure when purchasing decorative pillows that they have a zipper so just the cover can be switched out easily and not take up valuable storage space. continued, page 59

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The same concept can be applied to a picture frame or mirror to add a little splash for the holidays. In the mirror pictured, attach a small wire clasp with garland or florals to the rustic iron staples on the mirror’s frame. With this simple change it’s easy to go from cheerful spring summer look to a more dramatic winter holiday décor.

There are many small but dramatic ways of integrating change for the seasons into any home. New flowers in a vase, changing a table runner or placemat on the dining table, or new candles on a mantle are all simple ways to welcome a new season. The ultimate change might be to have slipcovers for the furniture and have a completely different look for the room. Custom slipcovers have always been an “east coast” must have for a relaxed-living lifestyle. In most cases they are washable, easy to take on and off, and provide casual living elegance. For those who prefer a more tailored look yet want the advantages of slipcovers, there are now alternatives with furniture that is designed to be slipcovered. However you choose to welcome a new season, to have a change will refresh the spirit and comfort the soul. As singer Sheryl Crow states, “Change is gonna do you good!” Camay Arad is the founder of the Chameleon Style Design Method and the designer of Changeable Chameleon Fine Furniture. She is surrounded by the people and fabrics she loves daily in her store located in the Village of Arroyo Grande. Visit them at www.chamelonstyle. com.

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Design Trends By Mari Robeson, Interior Designer

Nothing says “party” like a well dressed bar cart! Bar carts seem to be all the rage these days and it’s no wonder why. They are great for small spaces and apartment living, plus they can also be easily moved for outdoor entertaining, making them perfect for anyone.

Here are a few essentials that you’ll want to have. Of course alcohol is your basic ingredient for mixing drinks. There are many types of alcohol but the basics would include: vodka, gin, rum, tequila, vermouth, triple sec and whiskey. With the right mixers, you can literally create dozens of different drinks from these staples. Some people may not care for a mixed drink so you may want to consider stocking a few other options. A good bottle of champagne is always fun to have on hand for an impromptu celebration. You may also want to consider having a couple bottles of wine available too. There are several varietals of wine to choose from. A chilled Chardonnay is a good option for your friends who like white wine and a Cabernet is a nice selection for your friends who prefer red wine. Stock a few different types of beer and you’ll be set to handle most people’s requests. It’s always nice to include non-alcoholic choices for your guests and lots of sparkling water. The main goal is to create a welcoming environment so that your guests feel free to help themselves throughout the evening and you’re not stuck behind a bar making cocktails. Mixers are important to have on hand as well. Consider these basic ones: soda, tonic water, club soda, grenadine and bitters. Different juices are fun to play with too. Some good choices are tomato, lime, lemon, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and cranberry. Simple syrups are used in many different mixed drinks. You can get creative and make your own simple syrup. Add equal parts of sugar and water and boil the water until the sugar is dissolved. Add any spice you want or just use as a substitute for raw sugar. It can last for up to 6 months stored in the refrigerator. Garnishes are the jewelry to your drink! A twist of lemon, or a Maraschino cherry, will make any cocktail just a bit more festive. Garnishes to have on hand preparty time could be cherries, olives, lemon and lime wedges, as well as fresh herbs like mint. Any seasonal fruit or vegetable, depending on the type of drink you are mixing, adds the finishing touch!


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Get The Look Bar Art & Cocktail Napkins




The Extras

The Tools



The Stemware

Fresh Flowers

The Alcohol

Greek Key Bar Cart From Williams Sonoma, Bar Art From Mari Robeson LIVING Lavishly


Pallet Board Screen Door Photos by Anya Mclnroy

Supplies: 1 ROLL OF SCREENING DOOR HANDLE TWO STANDARD DOOR HINGES T SQUARE OR L SHAPED RULER TORCH STAPLE GUN GOLD TACKS DRILL SCREWS MEASURING TAPE PALLET WOOD MEASURING: TWO SIDES ARE 80” LONG 1X4’S TOP IS A 36 1/4” 1X4 MID SECTION IS A 30” 1X4 FOUR HORIZONTAL SLATS ARE .5X4 CUT AT 36 1/4” THE BOTTOM IS 30” 1X8 A free pallet helped me to manage a pretty darn sexy front door for just $12 total! With some basic (and I mean basic) woodworking skills, you can manage a custom screen door that will give your home some crazy fabulous curb appeal while bringing in the fresh summer night air! Make sure to measure your door inset once, twice, thrice!  My door had specific measurements, but every entry has slightly unique measurements (so take my measurements as a loose suggestion). Once you disassemble a pallet, you should play around with the pieces to see what design you heart.  I messed around with vertical pieces, horizontal pieces, and a big old barn-style X.  Ultimately, I wound up settling on horizontal lines and that is what the above measurements reflect.


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As you get ready to assemble the pieces, use a T Square or an L shaped ruler to make sure that your joints are a perfect 90° angle. You do not want a door that looks all slanty and belongs in a Tim Burton film, ya know? I may have done this a little in reverse, but I chose to assemble my horizontal bars before I assembled the actual structure of the frame. I just felt like once I had those measured, evenly space and at right angles, then assembling the top and bottom parts of the door would be easy, and it was! For assembling the frame, I pre-drilled holes and used these crazy long screws.  That allowed me to screw in the screws below the surface of the wood, so that I wouldn’t have any screws making things tricky for fitting the door jam.

DIY complete! Not too shabby, huh? Gotta love that the whole project cost about $12! To hang the door, I used two door hinges and a carved a section out of the frame to make them flush with the frame. I just didn’t want in large spaces for creepers to crawl in. Finding the halfway point, I made my measurements for attaching the handle. Last bit of design before I install— shou sugi ban! The Japanese art of burning wood for a weather resistant and pest resistant surface.  All a bonus, but I just adore how it looks!  Plus, I get to play with a torch. With the wood burned to a beautiful crisp, and the handle in place, all that was left was attaching the screening.  I simply stapled it in place and then hid the staples with gold tacks. I love the pop of bright against the charr!

Samantha Nason and Chanda Brown are the founders of Zest it Up Inc, a lifestyle company centered on DIY, food and celebration. As active bloggers and special event professionals, they have been “zesting” up the lives of their readers and clients through great design and flavorful cuisine since 2012. Their unique tutorials and recipes have grown their audience locally and internationally, while their homegrown approach to weddings has garnered the attention of local clients and those seeking out a destination experience here on the Central Coast. Check them out at LIVING Lavishly


The History of Setting the Table


n Fiji, a plate is laid upside down prior to eating your meal. The family then waits for the guest of honor to turn the plate over to signify the start of the meal. The arrangement of any dining table has a long history and the layout varies from culture to culture based also on each historical period. Many cultures use seating placement as a way to honor or give prestige to guests, including identifying their social status. The traditions of seating assignments and table placements still maintain even in our modern dining. The statement “above the salt” (indicating a person of importance) stems from seating someone above the saltcellar (now called a shaker) as salt was the most important nutrient rich mineral in a household. Other important items to indicate societal position were the candelabra or candle holders placed on the table. The more candles that helped light the way for us to dine, the more prestige a host was given. Interestingly, today, when you set up a restaurant dining room for inspection, the health inspector still refers to the intensity of the light in terms of “candle feet” brightness (how far you can see based on number of candles) because if you can’t see what you are eating, it is not safe to eat. In modern Western culture, the importance of setting your table has a new nomenclature--Tablescaping. We no longer


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set a table, we scape a design to establish an environment for your dining experience reflecting the mood you want to establish or embellish. But does the placement of your plates, utensils, and even the use of an ironed tablecloth matter on today’s table? Your fork holds an important position on the table, as a utensil of civilization that made eating “easier” yet wasn’t invented until the 17th Century. Metal smiths were hired to make elaborate and decorated forks to show prestige. The more forks you had for each item, the more prestige. The tradition carried on even for the design and patterns of the plates showing lineage and family connection, which is why getting dining sets and crystal were the start of a new marriage. However, most of the ways in which we set down our plates, utensils and cups is based on rules of “service” related to which country or culture you originated. In some cultures, rules of etiquette or civilization were in the manners that were used to tame our natural states such as eating—showing refinement and civility based on how well or proper one ate. Silver was introduced as a sterile metal to prevent people from getting sick as it is naturally antimicrobial, which is why polished silver was considered the best way to show that your environment was free of potential food harm and pathogens, while ironed linens evoked the same concept knowing that if the linens had

been hung dry, the ironing would kill of any potential bug eggs laid on the linens. Another element of setting a table, that in turn reflects the importance of dining as a communal activity, is seeing the table in the same element as we wrap a gift. Giving and gratitude are at the center of the table preparations for most cultural holiday feasts. The table becomes the centerpiece of the celebration and thus the center of gratitude. Each napkin ring found its origin in reflecting the family wealth, then later self-expression, and now often as a symbol of the start of the meal as you unwrap the napkin to begin the feast. Using the table as the heart of gratitude and the process of setting it to remind you of your thanks serves many purposes. First, as a person has an increase in gratitude their attitude towards effort dissipates. Literally the more thankful we are, the easier an activity is for us to accomplish (this comes in handy during the holiday preparations). Second, as we are feeling thankful, our dopamine centers are flooded and we feel a rise in the sensation of happiness. If you can use the ritual of decorating your table to find gratitude, you will find resulting joy even during non-festivities and common day dinners. Often you can see more excitement from young kids wanting to eat dinner when they partake in the process of setting a table. A final reason that setting the table and creating a sense

of gratitude holds such an important part of meal time is as we have a sense of gratitude, our metabolism fires better and burns the energy we consume more efficiently—we digest better. Our health and happiness towards the food we eat is the reason behind saying grace, because as we give thanks we prosper with physical benefits. So, while the traditions of how we lay out our table is a deep and fascinating look at civility, politics, health, and social economic positions, what does the atmosphere of a tablescape serve for the modern day? One constant in the world of dining is our love of eating food and community; however, as the years have passed, we now are able to break from some of the formal traditions designing our table in ways that reflect our styles, moods, sensibilities, as well as fashion. The tablescape continues to evolve as much as the high heel in the world of design changing statements based on seasons. Yet, there will always be elements that will bring satisfaction from your guests that are linked to the history—a clean, ironed napkin, a unique fork design, a salt shaker, and good lighting. Virginia Marum, owner and chef at Vert Foods located in San Luis Obispo, teaches and prepares real food philosophy based in a style of cooking and preparation called Ancient Nutrition. She coaches gut health courses as well as has a local active blog, co-hosts on a radio show for dismantling myths about food, and is currently writing her book Real Food Movement. Visit

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Make Your Own Tablescape E

very season or holiday is an opportunity to change the look of your dinning room table by adding a pop with a tablescape that is unique to the family and surrounding décor. The choices are as vast as your creativity with design potential ranging from whimsical to formal. This tablescape is made with artificial plants, rocks, and other items to create a nature themed display. WHAT YOU NEED • White wood tray • Fern leaves • 1 distressed wood branch • Small block of desert foam • Wire, wood picks • Green moss • Rocks • Nest • 2 medium succulents • 1 large succulent • 1 cream hydrangea pick cut in 3 pieces • 1 green hydrangea pick


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DIRECTIONS • Lay branch across tray • Wire small piece of desert foam to branch • Apply moss • Make a shape with the fern • Apply nest to foam • Place large succulent in the back • Place remaining succulents below the nest • Arrange flowers on foam using wood picks • Fill tray with rocks to complete Supplies provided by Beverly’s Frabics and Crafts located at 876 Higuera St. in San Luis Obispo. Design by Linda Georgeadis. As a previous owner of a flower shop and off and on member of the Beverly’s team for the last 20 years, Georgeadis specializes in holiday decorating and floral arrangements. Come learn how to create a long lasting beautiful centerpiece for your holiday table setting! Visit them at or call them at (805) 543-6433.

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Warmth and Style with Fireplaces


he center of the home is often the fireplace hearth. It is a place that many of us remember lovingly from our childhood, a place where the family gathered on crisp winter nights, and, most importantly, where we hung our stockings and dreamed of the gifts Santa would bring. The hearth in today’s modern home still represents all of this while creating new design options both inside and outside the home. Here are a few tips and guidelines to follow for making your fireplace radiate warmth with a style. FIREPLACE CHOICES–WOOD BURNING OR GAS? • Air quality concerns have created new guidelines for all fossil fuel combustion. Local air quality districts such as the San Luis Obispo County APCD allow wood burning fireplaces as long as the fireplace is certified to meet clean burn standards. Check with your local hearth dealer or air quality agency for eligible products and regulations. Please note, these regulations typically apply only to fireplaces inside the home, not on the patio. • Modern gas fireplaces now dominate the market, offering clean combustion, easy control, efficient heat when wanted, and design options only limited by your imagination. REPLACEMENT OF AN EXISTING FIREPLACE VERSUS A FIREPLACE INSERT? • Many homes built since the mid 1970s will have a “zero clearance” factory built fireplace. Choosing a new gas insert will bring efficiency and style to an old open-hearth fireplace with ease. • If you plan on removing the decorative interior wall finish (such as tile or brick facing) to modernize the look than you will want to consider a complete fireplace replacement rather than installing a fireplace insert. A new “zero clearance” gas fireplace will provide far more design flexibility, a larger viewing area and a cleaner finished installation. MANTLE CLEARANCE • Fireplaces create heat that requires that combustible materials, such as wood mantles, must be set at specified distance from the fireplace opening. These clearances will dictate the size of the fireplace inside an existing mantle or the distance the mantle must be placed above the fireplace opening. Fortunately, there are new fireplaces on the market with remote heat venting options that dramatically reduce these clearances, providing far better options for the home designer. continued, page 70

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WALL AND TRIM FINISH • When considering the finish around the fireplace, thought must be given to the material being used. Tile and brick have been the dominant finishes, but are giving way to plaster, slab stone, and wood plank wall finishes. For finishes that are dependent upon the fireplace structure for support, proper installation of the fireplace and its surrounding framing is very important. Many manufacturers either include or recommend new heat resistant wallboards that will not expand and contract with heat. Proper planning must be used when specifying a single piece “picture frame” slab surround. The fireplace installed must allow for the single slab surround, or cracking is likely to occur at the corner stress points. Fully discussing your chosen wall


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finish with your fireplace dealer/installer is vital planning information. WIDE SCREEN TV’S AND ART • Fine art and flat screen televisions are often placed above the fireplace to create a single focal point in the room. As with mantle placement, caution must be taken to place the art or TV beyond the impacts of heat radiating from the fireplace. Be sure to discuss the clearance for TVs or art with your hearth dealer—perhaps even mock up the location on your wall to get a feel for the viewing angle. New venting options that shift the heat away from the area above the fireplace can mitigate this concern. continued, page 73

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TODAY’S MODERN FIREPLACE • Today’s gas fireplaces are as modern as the home you are building—featuring an incredibly realistic “flame picture” with hundreds of designer configurations from traditional logs to stones, glass and antlers. Fireboxes can be square, tall, wide (as wide as your imagination), bay, peninsula, and corner. Controls can be connected to the World Wide Web, flames turned up and down automatically and interiors lit up with LED lamps. A visit to your local fireplace dealer will reveal a world of possibilities. Choosing the right fireplace style and installation system in your home will provide years of elegant comfort. John Ewan is a CABEC Certified Energy Analyst is the owner of Pacific Energy Company located at 2121 Santa Barbara in San Luis Obispo. For more information, visit or call them at (805) 544-4700. LIVING Lavishly


HOME DESIGN at your Fingertips


DESIGN HOME Love home decorating? Play Design Home! If you daydream about designing beautiful, unique interiors for your many fantastic homes, you can now bring you design dreams to life in this visually stunning 3D experience.

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HUTCH Fortune calls this app, “A game changer for the interior design industry.” Become an interior designer! Just take a photo and start trying on new furniture in your 3D space. Infinitely customize your design with hundred of products, and buy anything you love.

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HOUZZ INTERIOR DESIGN IDEAS Whether you’re simply looking for a new rug or planning a top-to-bottom room renovation, Houzz should be your first stop. It’s got a huge selection of furnishings, accessories, and lighting you can purchase with Apple Pay, but it’s also full of photos to inspire projects. A helpful community of users can lend a hand with suggestions, or can connect with a contractor, designer, landscaper right from the app to help make your home improvement dream come true.

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Transitioning a Child’s Room As soon as a child starts walking, they begin forming their own opinions. Before you know it, they want a room of their own that fits their favorite colors and styles and their growing independence. What can be done without breaking the bank or remodeling the entire room as your child ages? The answer, keep things basic and allow your child to add their own touches to wall art and accent furnishings like pillows, area rugs, and soft bedding.

This design is a great neutral background that allows your child’s space to change and grow with their tastes and current trends. I recommend keeping children’s bedrooms calm and consistent. Their bedrooms should be serene and tranquil. As your child grows and their bedroom becomes a “crash pad” their room should maintain a peaceful vibe, so as teenagers they have a comforting place to retreat.


• White washed vinyl floor (easy to clean) • Keep an old treasured doll • Buy full sized bed and keep bedding neutral  • Keep wall color neutral • Place an ottoman in room (it doubles as a place to sit for story-time) • Add fun drapes, a soft area rug, and colorful fabrics as pillows


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Great design makes a great build.


• Same white washed vinyl floor • Same full bed and keep bedding neutral • Keep drape panels open and add natural shades for light control (teens like to sleep in) • Install a new “trendy” ottoman for visiting girlfriends • Keep wall color neutral but more intense • Add fun hip fabrics as pillows and a more dramatic area rug continued, page 79


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• White washed vinyl floor • Keep an old treasured teddy bear • Buy a full sized bed that can transition into teenage years • Place a lively yellow vinyl ottoman in room to add primary color • Keep wall color neutral for a calming effect • Use fun Americana fabrics as pillows  • Install gauzy natural fabric as drapes



• Same white washed vinyl floor • Same full sized bed and keep bedding neutral and washable • Change drapes to more streamlined shades • Add a natural area rug with hip graphic fabrics as pillows • Change out ottoman to a more masculine cowhide ottoman • Change wall color to more intense color (this creates drama) • Keep element of fun with game themes because it’s important for teenagers to not take themselves too seriously

Eliana de Leon is an interior designer with more than 30 years experience in high-end hospitality and residential design. Interior design services range from limited changes to complete renovations. For more information visit or call (805) 237-0011.

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Cheese Gra Towel Hook Some of the best zesty projects are ones that are a little more unpredictable. We always get excited when we see peeps have those “a-ha!” moments and get giddy to decorate at home. Not only is today one of those moments, but its a quick and easy project that will leave your kitchen feeling creative and a bit more organized. Oh and a little country living vibe! Simply hit up your local thrift store to find a cute metal cheese grater and then grab your drill or hammer for an easy install.

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HANG (NEAR YOUR SINK) AND HAVE A QUICK EASY RAG QUICK DRAW! Samantha Nason and Chanda Brown are the founders of Zest it Up Inc, a lifestyle company centered on DIY, food and celebration. As active bloggers and special event professionals, they have been “zesting” up the lives of their readers and clients through great design and flavorful cuisine since 2012.  Their unique tutorials and recipes have grown their audience locally and internationally, while their homegrown approach to weddings has garnered the attention of local clients and those seeking out a destination experience here on the Central Coast. Check them out at LIVING Lavishly


Simply Fall Wreath 82

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Tools: floral wire, wire cutter or scissors. The rest of items are your selected décor pieces. I have chosen a fern based wreath on a twig base with a fall color palette featuring succulents, wandering Jew silks, pussy willows, a bit of bling butterfly, and burlap ribbon.

STEP #2 Fill out your twig wreath with

STEP #3 Secure the willows by tying the burlap ribbon

the ferns evenly tucking them in amongst the twigs. No need to secure they will stay in place with the tucking. Wire your feature pieces – willows in two bunches and the succulents and silk in a single horizontal swag configuration.

STEP #4 Arrange the ribbons bending and tucking down the sides of the

wreath. There is a bit of wire in the ribbon to allow it to hold shape.

bow around the top of wreath inner ring. This is a small functional bow. We are not featuring the bow, but will work the ribbon ends down each side of the wreath. Then place the wired succulents and silks over the bow and secure with a piece of floral wire wrapping around the wreath and through the wired swag of floral hiding the burlap bow. Twist wire ends to secure. It is a very forgiving art form, so scrunch and twist and pull into the position you like each head or feature succulent for best visibility and balance.

STEP #5 Add your bling butterfly at the bottom of the wreath inner ring.

STEP #6 Hang on your door! You have created an elegant, beautiful welcome of fall to your door and into your home.

Brought to you by: Adoorable Doorways Designs by Carol Lambert specializing in front door/porch focus makeovers. She will work within your budget guidance on a full range of services including: new doors, door colors, light fixture updates, address markers, accessories to enhance the areas around the door/porch; recreate a porch “room”, it’s up to you! But she helps get it done for the non-DIY folks or the “just too busy to get to it” folks! Make your home entrance as A*doorable and welcoming as you’d like it to be. Reach her at cclambert@ or (805) 459-6712.

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Sparkling Wine or Champagne?


ubbles. Check. Pale gold in color. Check. Rich toast and brioche on the palate. Check. Check. It should be champagne, right? Not always. While champagne and sparkling wines possess similar qualities, they aren’t one in the same. Let me rephrase that: all champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is champagne. Quite honestly calling all sparkling wine, champagne, can take away from the remarkable regional sparkling wine varieties found all around the world! Determining if you are drinking a sparkling wine or champagne, is as easy as checking the region on the label. Champagne is produced in a very specific region of France, the Champagne region. Winemakers in this region must stick to seven very specific varietals (chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier, pinot blanc, pinot gris, petit meslier, arbane) that have a very specific flavor profile thanks to the chalky and mineral rich soil. Winemakers must also abide by strict


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regulations, as well as a specific method of production known as Methode Champenoise. Additionally, each label must be bottled within 100 miles of the Champagne region. It’s serious stuff, so serious that the name Champagne is protected by a body called the Appellation d’Origine Controlée (AOC), and they aren’t afraid to sue! Champagne is not the only sparkling wine with it’s own protections and processes; cava is often referred to as “Spanish champagne” because of it’s very similar process and degrees of sweetness to dryness. Produced in the Catalonia region of Spain, Cava has its own AOC and must follow specific protocol in winemaking and must use specific grapes (macabeu, parellada, xarello). Prosecco, with its own AOC in Italy, is produced in the Veneto region utilizing the glera grape varietal. While prosecco and cava are more heavily associated with bottomless mimosa and brunch, both can be very elegant and complex, and a perfect compliment to fish and chicken dishes.

POPULAR VARIETIES FROM DIFFERENT REGIONS: Sekt: Like its Spanish counterpart, Sekt has a reputation for being inexpensive and low in quality. Quite the contrary, this German sparkling wine is made in the same method as champagne, and typically utilizing the same varietals. What comes out is a lower alcohol version of champagne bursting with elegance.

wine. Sparkling winemaking in the New World sees no specific varietals or production methods, regions, or limits. Several Central Coast winemakers such as Laetitia Winery and Riverbench utilize old world practices. Both create sparkling wines in Methode Champenoise utilizing pinot noir and chardonnay; Riverbench going so far as to transplant Pinot Meunier vines from the Champagne region to the Santa Maria Valley. While up the road in Paso Robles, Neil Roberts of Clavo Cellars, makes a sparkling wine with seldom used torrontes grapes from Argentina. With over 60 different wineries on the Central Coast making sparkling wine, it is not difficult to find a bottle to love! Bottom line, try everything. There is a fascinating and delicious world of sparkling wine out there waiting for you. Holly Holliday loves to talk (and drink) bubbly every chance she gets! With a bubbly focused wine club ( and bubbly focused festival ( in her wheelhouse, she’s raising a glass to the good life on the Central Coast!

French sparkling wine: Beyond the champagne region, France is bursting with world-class wine regions, and many have their own sparkling wines. Cremants from the Alsace Region, Limoux from the Languedoc region, and Vouvray from the Loire Valley are all beautiful examples. These sparkling wines hold the elegance of champagne, but tend to have a creamier mouth feel versus Champagne’s fizziness. American sparkling wine: From blends using traditional Champagne grapes to vintages with a completely different recipe, there are endless flavors to discover in sparkling

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get cooking

DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 375°. Wash and pat dry the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large fry pan on medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the chicken on both sides for about 5 min each side. Transfer the chicken to an oven-proof pan. Top with the apples and thyme sprigs. Using the same large fry pan, add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until browned about 5 minutes. Add chopped thyme and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in the apple cider and cider vinegar, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Raise the heat to high and cook until reduced by one half. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Carefully pour the braising liquid over the chicken and apples. Cover the pan and bake 45-50 minutes or until fork tender.


1 whole chicken, cut into pieces 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3 gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced in half moons 8 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 tablespoon chopped 6 shallots, thinly sliced 1 cup apple cider ½ cup apple cider vinegar 2 cups chicken broth Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper Kathleen Snyder is a food caterer, educator and blogger currently partnering with Talley Farms Fresh Harvest CSA providing recipes showcasing their produce. She is a San Luis Obispo County Yelp Elite reviewer and also writes reviews on Delish-Dish. com for restaurants all over the world.

Remove the chicken and apples to a platter. Set the pan on the stove and bring the braising liquid to a boil over high heat. Cook, stirring often, until the liquid reduces by two thirds and spoon over the chicken to serve.

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I don’t always live lavishly, but when I do you can find me getting a shave at the Barber Shop in Atascadero. Reclining in a leather-bound barber’s chair and having someone shear off the scruff from my face is heavenly. If I am feeling really celebratory, I’ll cruise down to The Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo, the only pipe and cigar smoking refuge in the college town. Owner Doug Shaw is always ready to shoot the breeze over a good cigar. If I am still feeling adventurous, I’ll walk down to McCarthy’s and have a pint of Guinness and a Jameson’s whiskey. The dark bar swims with ambience and always has an eclectic crowd. McCarthy’s consistently sales the most Jameson in the national. The whisky reps fly all the way from Ireland to bestow a flag proving that the small tavern sold the most whiskey in the year. Maybe they just like coming back to the Central Coast. Mark Diaz, reporter SLO County Business Matters


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Photo by Mark Nakamura

Ways to Live


he Central Coast has no shortage of things to do that will add a little bit of the lavish lifestyle into your day or weekend. Whether it is great food, natural beauties or spending time with your community—extravagance is in the eye of the beholder.

My favorite way to live lavishly on the Central Coast is to spend the day driving up Highway One to eat lunch at Ragged Point, wander their beautiful grounds, and grab a locally made ice cream treat. During the summer months, I get to enjoy the experience of live music in their outdoor plaza too! I hit the road again, soaking up the views of the ocean on a clear day, and possibly head to Salmon Creek to enjoy the waterfall and lounge on the rocks nearby. On the way home, I might randomly take one of the many small paths to the oceanside to get another view of our gorgeous coast. A drive up the PCH gives me the sense that I am getting away and playing tourist, yet I can still be home in time for dinner.

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One of the things I love about living on the Central Coast is that I go through phases of activities. Some months I am really into going to the beach, and I go on a regular basis and enjoy the sunset, the sand between my toes, the sounds of the waves, picking up seashells, and feeling the healing power of the sea. Other months, I am hiking up hills and among meadows getting exercise and enjoying the scenery. Still some months I indulge in local restaurants and think about how some people only get to eat at some of my faves once a year when they come here on vacation. I look around at the people visiting on vacation and consider that if they were home, they may not be able to go outside because of the heat or perhaps the cold. Each day I step outside, I am grateful for living lavishly on the Central Coast. Lani Colhouer, CFO Simply Clear Marketing & Media

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continued, page 90

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The ocean always has a way of creating just the right mood. On any given evening in the summer, well mid-week because let’s face it weekends are a bit congested on the coast, my wife and I will go to the beach just before sundown. Walking in the sand or on the pier as the sun slides beyond the horizon is a lavish experience anywhere on the Central Coast. It wraps a bow on another beautiful day.

Recently we strolled in Avila enjoying the otters and seals as the sky went through its daily metamorphosis enjoying every nuance as the sky darkened. You can never see too many sunsets on the ocean or have too many walks with your best friend. Mike Lee, Mike Lee, digital team lead, Simply Clear Marketing & Media

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Living Lavishly Vol. 5  
Living Lavishly Vol. 5