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4 Easy Recipes Get Cooking

Inside Los Berros Schoolhouse Restoration

©2015 Wood-Mode, Inc.

Where the best views are inside. Oceanside by Wood-Mode. For more inspiration visit

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a note from publishers The beauty of creating is not lost on anyone whether it comes from nature, an art piece, a cozy nook for relaxing, or a functional kitchen to feed our children. As our team created our third issue of Living Lavishly, it was exciting to see contributors enthusiastic about their creations through images and words.

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Serving the Central Coast since 1981

Part of my story includes growing up in the back hills of Cayucos with parents who, throughout much of my life, ran an antique store in Morro Bay and restored furniture. Thus, this issue of Living Lavishly hits near to my heart with a focus on reclaimed wood and vintage finds transformed intobeautiful home décor pieces. As our lives are inundated with information, sifting through the truth and the fluff becomes more difficult and retaining material we can actually implement without being overwhelmed is challenging. Our hearts and souls yearn for simplicity and the stories behind our search for the perfect item or a brief history of the origins of our finds become valuable tidbits of information that add meaning to our home. The process by which we fill our homes and de-clutter our interior surroundings becomes part of our story. The remodeling process of beautifying or updating our living space creates relationships with designers, decorators, tradesmen, and craftsmen that can spread to deeper friendships as we build and change an important factor in our life - our home. We hope you enjoy the stories about local people written by local people as well as designer tips and trends from area experts. As we live and grow here on the Central Coast, we can all experience living lavishly with our fresh air, beautiful beaches, gorgeous hiking spots, quaint shops, and the relationships we weave within the stories of our lives.

Bret & Lani Colhouer

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24 8

A Home With a View


Coffee Table Styling


Skill, Hard Work and Pride


Rugs as Inspiration

8 PUBLISHERS Bret Colhouer Lani Colhouer


ART & DESIGN Christy Serpa Michelle Johnson Charity Bassett

Nine Benefits of Using Reclaimed Wood in Your Bathroom Design


Trends on a Budget



A Former Schoolhouse Transformed Into a Home

EXECUTIVE EDITOR Theresa-Marie Wilson SALES Carrie Vickerman Dana McGraw Jessica Micklus Mike Lee Zorina Ricci





Giving New Life to Chairs


Fresh Pasta the Traditional Way


Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavement System Solutions


Handcrafted Winemaking: A Millennial Perspective


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phone 805-543-6397 | 615 Clarion Ct. #2, San Luis Obispo |

contributors: 60

Theresa-Marie Wilson

Perk Up Your Poultry with Luxury Chicken Coops



Trends in Smart Home Technology

Mari Robeson

Teri Bayus

Interior, Home Decor Designer

Freelance Writer & Columnist


Powder Rooms


Terry Sanville

Painting for Joy and Reflection

Freelance Writer, Novelist


Secrets of a Home Stager


Indoor Comfort Abounds in an Outdoor Landscape


Judy Salamacha Freelance Writer, Columnist and Author

King Harris

Freelance Writer & Columnist

American Barn and Wood


Other Contributors:


get cooking


Shrimp Stuffed Chile Peppers


Napa Cabbage Slaw Salmon Croquettes


Peach and Apricot Clafouti

Alexis Gaffney Bekki Slater Camay Arad Courtney Haile Kathleen Snyder Kira Olshefski Laura Jeffrey Lenny Grant Mary Martin Marquardt Melissa Carstairs Naomi Neilson Howard Todd Davidson

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A Home With a View


n 2009 local developer Brad Vernon was looking for a lot to build a home in the Santa Barbara Riviera area. He found a lot in a foreclosure sale that had a partially demolished home on it and sat halfway up the southern slope of the Riviera. Fortunately, he had a vision for what the site could provide. Vernon brought in architect Lenny Grant, and together they crafted the vision for the beautiful home that would come to occupy this magnificent property. continued, page 10


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It was a perfect site with southern orientation and views to the harbor. It was a shallow lot due to the steep hill but was long across the contours, which provided Grant the opportunity to take advantage of the views of the Pacific Ocean from almost every room in the house and gain natural light into every room from multiple directions. The result was fantastic day lighting. The concept was to create a welcoming entry drive court on the east end of the property to facilitate auto ingress and egress while designing a beautiful entrance statement. The home would continue to unfold to the west, creating multiple enclosed outdoor spaces and indoor/outdoor living areas to take advantage of one of the greatest climates in the world. continued, page 13


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The area has a rich history of Moorish architecture that combined with Grant’s travel to Morocco, the home started to develop the iconic characteristics of the North African version of Moorish architecture. After going through the review board, a combined style of both the Moorish as well as an Andalusian Spanish (Southern Spain) architecture was settled upon. In the end, with an enthusiasm for detail and color, the final result was a beautiful mix of these different architectural styles. The resulting home was a 3,500 squarefoot single-family home that includes five bedrooms, four and a half baths, a two-car garage with a workshop, formal dining room, living room, library, game room, viewing room, study room, laundry room and covered patios. The outdoor space includes a cabana with a half bath/sauna room and covered patio as well as an inground pool. The first design opportunity was to create an elegant transition from the public street to the private oasis.  Walking up to the entry, a sinuous stairway leads to a guest cottage above the garage. Second story balconies are enclosed in plaster screens typical of Islamic architectural details. continued, page 81


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Design Trends Coffee Table Styling C

offee tables are not only functional they also present a great opportunity to show your guests your personality. These occasional tables are typically placed in front of a sofa in a living or family room. They provide the perfect place to set down a beverage, hence the name, and display a few of your favorite items. There are several types of coffee tables. The standard wood top table, which sometimes comes with shelves or drawers. A glass top table; ideal if you have a pretty rug you want to showcase. Upholstered ottomans; great for putting your feet up or using as extra seating. Stacked tables that pull apart and expand or a set of two smaller tables placed next to one another. Even a storage chest makes a super coffee table with the added benefit of being able to store items out of sight.

Good To Know: Use a glass coffee table if you have a pretty rug you want to show off.

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Here’s a couple of ideas on how to style your coffee table once you determine the type of table that’s right for you.

What you’ll need:

Something tall, books or magazines, something personal, an interesting object or two, and fresh flowers or something living.

How To Add Dimension Something Tall & Living

Start by stacking a few books horizontally. Top your books with an interesting object, preferably something that tells a story of who you are. Add something tall like a sculpture, candles or a tall vase with flowers. When grouping items, think of working in odd numbers and also think about adding texture. Maybe it’s an interesting box or wicker tray. Also, plan a color palette so items compliment each other. I personally love using trays to display objects but it’s not necessary to to do so unless you want to display items on an upholstered ottoman. If you do have an upholstered ottoman, think about adding layers by placing a pretty throw blanket across it then adding your tray of items.

Create A Triangle By Stacking Objects Use A Decorative Tray Especially On An Upholstered Ottoman

If you don’t have time to add fresh flowers, you can always add a small plant. Even better a blooming plant. Orchids are wonderful because they bloom for a long time and are easy to care for. Most importantly have fun with this! It’s a great place to show your personality. Clear off your table and gather items you love from around your home and reinvent them in an interesting and charming display.

Stack Books Horizontally And In Odd Numbers

Something Interesting

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Skill, Hard Work and Pride By King Harris


f you are ever in need of a professional, inventive, and resourceful carpenter, get thee up to San Miguel, where you will see, on the right-hand side of the road as you head north out of town, a giant red barn, otherwise known as the Carpenter Shop San Miguel. There you will meet a very personable and gentle fellow named Richard Decater, who is never too busy to greet you or to ask what it is that he can do for you. And what he can do, needs to be seen to be believed.


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Outdoor Living All Year Long!

“I was in Tahoe for 12 years before I moved here,” Decater said. “Through my construction business I would do remodels, taking out all this redwood paneling and pine ceilings and stacking it up for my own use. I decided the best thing I could do during the downturn was produce a product. In 2003 I came to San Miguel. To start out I would do anything somebody would pay me to do working with vintage reclaimed lumber. I developed a process for paneling. I make a board, stretch it, and then laminate it, producing a 9 and one-half inch by 8-footlong board. I’ve done a lot of paneling on walls with vintage lumber.”

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Business went sour in 2008 when the economy took a nosedive. “The turn in the building industry in 2008 saw me putting in eight hours looking for work. I thought maybe I should get up in the morning and go to work. I had materials, I’ve been collecting lumber for 25 years now. I had tools and skills. I’ll just get up in the morning and make a product and take it out and sell it.” continued, page 18

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That was his ultimate goal, but then things took a turn for the worse. “In February of 2009 there was a lack of employment, and I ended up on the street. All I had was $22, a stack of lumber, tools; I’m sitting in the fields across the river. But, I built up a rapport with my community. I washed dishes, pulled weeds, washed cars, whatever it took to get enough money to rent the building on 12th Street and continued to make a product and developed my services. I was homeless. I lived here in the shop. It’s been six years since I’ve actually had plumbing. I know what it means


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to walk to the well, and I know what it means to hike to the outhouse. It was a little tough, but you gotta make the best of the situation. The best thing I could do at the time was offer my skills. I didn’t panhandle and refused government assistance. I don’t believe in that. The community will take care of you and this community has. There’s a woman in town who made a big difference in my life. She gave me a responsibility and that was very meaningful to me. She was counting on me, so I needed to be there. I was offered free

meals at a local diner. When you don’t have any work and you don’t have that little bit of responsibility, life can be hell. I have carpenter skills, so I can fix things, and I made myself available. I gathered up enough money to rent the building. I didn’t have a vehicle for three years. Soon I got started making products and was able to get my car fixed. From there I’ve grown up to what I’m doing today.” continued, page 21

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Experience the before and after

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Decater, who was raised in Redding and is now 53, began his career when he was a youngster. “My grandfather, when I was very young, handed me a bucket of rusty bent nails, gave me a hammer, showed me how to straighten a nail, and I started making things.” When asked if he is surprised by what he has done, Decater said understatedly, “I’ve accomplished some things. A few years ago I was making these small crates and one of the guys I was working with, we came to the idea that someday these crates are going to be sitting in an antique store. The lumber we use here is over a hundred years old; now it’s going to be built for a lifetime.” Decater, who prides himself on producing his vintage wood laminate paneling, also bends tin, like his

grandfather used to do, and collaborates with retailers, interior designers, and residents who are looking for something unique, like using English leaded glass for tabletops. “Entrepreneurship is an investment of your available time,” he said. “It is an asset even if there’s no guarantee of a paycheck. The product I’m most proud of today is my vintage wood laminates. I want to make my product as affordable as possible. This is all very unique stuff, and I have a unique style. I figure that on each and every piece I put out is my business card. “I figured whatever I was going to do, I was going to do my best. I’ve built a good reputation and rapport with the community. When all this was going down it was very painful. For two years, I worked at doing everything. What I had been doing as a carpenter wasn’t working anymore. It didn’t make any sense. Since I’ve been here I’ve come to realize this is where I was supposed to be. I was prodded like a stubborn mule. No matter what, this is where I was headed. So here I am.” If you want to see what Decater has to offer, visit his website

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[ appetizer ] IN Shrimp Stuffed Peppers

get cooking


12 yellow wax chile peppers 24 medium shrimp, peeled & deveined 1 teaspoon chili powder ½ teaspoon cumin ¼ teaspoon red pepper ½ teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons orange juice 2 garlic cloves, chopped ¾ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend 2 teaspoons olive oil Sunflower oil for frying chiles lime wedges and cilantro for garnish

Directions • • •

Combine chili powder, cumin red pepper and salt in a heavy-duty zip top bag. Add orange juice and shrimp, turning to coat. Seal the bag securely and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut a small triangle in the peppers, widen near the stem, and clean out the seeds and white ribs. Heat a heavy pot with about ½” Sunflower oil. Add the peppers a few at a time and cook until they are slightly blistered. (Use a screen as they will bubble and pop) Don’t leave them in for too long as you don’t want them to be soggy. Drain on paper towels. Heat the broiler. Remove the shrimp from marinade, discarding marinade. Using the same pan that cooked the peppers, discard the Sunflower oil and add olive oil. Saute garlic over medium high heat for 1 minute. Add the shrimp and cook for 3-4 minutes or until they just turn pink. Be careful not to overcook. Remove to a medium bowl and squeeze a little lime over the shrimp. Let cool and roughly chop, returning the shrimp to the bowl. • Add the cheese to the shrimp bowl and mix together. Place the peppers with the opening facing up on a foil lined sheet pan. Stuff each pepper generously with the shrimp mixture. Place under broiler and cook until they start to brown and bubble on top. •

Serve on a platter. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with lime wedges and chipotle aioli.

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.

[ dinner recipes on page 52, get cooking ] 22

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Rugs as Inspiration By Camay Arad

Selecting a sofa by choosing and emphasizing one of the many colors gives the rug and the room an entirely different look and ambiance.

A multi-colored rug with myriad colors is fun to build upon because of the variety of colors that can be “pulled” from the rug. Adding a neutral couch with decorative throw pillows that can easily be switched out creates a changeable décor element.

For a more soothing look, yet dramatic statement, consider a rug with only 2 colors or shades in the same tones. It is then easy to switch several combinations of throw pillows to very affordably create different looks.


Photos courtesy of Chameleon Style

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hen beginning a decorating project consider starting from the ground up. An area rug becomes one of the essential elements of a successful décor theme with the popularity of today’s easy-care flooring options; (tile that looks like wood, wood that resembles tile). It is important to decide the rug’s role in the big picture of the room. A great area rug can be the foundation of any décor and the right area rug can make a powerful statement in a room or be a subtle luxury underfoot. It can be a whimsical, colorful addition or a family heirloom piece. continued, page 27

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Developing A Design Plan If utilizing an area rug as the inspiration, it should be one of the first selections made in a design project before even choosing the flooring surface material. The reason for this is with the many types of flooring available, it will be easy to find the right hue or shade of product to match a rug. It is far more difficult to find the right combination of theme, texture, content, colors and price in the perfect area rug to complement the floor.

Developing a design plan around an existing rug or a newly purchased rug is sometimes challenging to match colors. To more easily coordinate and match colors follow these easy steps: 1. Take room view pictures of rug on an electronic device (phone or tablet) 2. Go to a paint store and collect paint chip samples of all of the colors in the rug (colors are rarely true when displayed on an electronic device). 3. Play and match the paint chips to form a swatch kit to complement the picture.

Though shopping online for area rugs is easy and fun, the need for the visual component as well as the “touchy-feely� aspect of rug buying brings the purchasing logic back to local retailers who can give valuable information to ensure the coloration, suitability, and quality of the rug. Many rug companies online refer a local source or retailer so business can be kept in the community.

4. Keep the paint chips handy in a small plastic bag when shopping for future accessories; lamps, pillows and of course furniture!

Camay Arad is the owner of Chameleon Style for the Home in Arroyo Grande specializing in flexible design concepts and furniture. For more information, visit or call (805) 481-4104. Photos courtesy of Chameleon Style

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Nine Benefits of Using Reclaimed Wood in Your Bathroom Design By Naomi Neilson Howard

“Much reclaimed wood is sourced locally, providing benefits on a local level.”


round the world, old barns, factories, warehouses, fences, and railroad ties are getting a luxe second life in the form of a reclaimed wood mirror here, a barnwood vanity there, and plenty of rescued wood accent walls along the way. While this bathroom design trend may have begun for environmental reasons, its warm good looks ensure its popularity will continue to climb.


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Some things to love about reclaimed wood: It has character. No two pieces of reclaimed wood are alike. Due to its history and age, reclaimed wood is often deeply textured and distinguished by visible wear marks and nail holes. It has a story to tell. Along the same lines as the first point, much of the reclaimed wood being used today comes with a story that homeowners and designers love to tell and retell— whether it’s of the dilapidated barn upstate where the beautifully weathered barnwood was harvested or of a renovation project during which a home’s original wood was salvaged and then upcycled. The tacit knowledge of a former “life” adds depth of character to bathroom pieces made from this wood. Not just reclaimed—it can be repurposed, too. Some of the most enchanting reclaimed wood pieces are those that don’t stray too far from their original purpose. Wine barrel vanities are a most-talked-about foray into salvaged wood – just type that phrase into Google. Wine barrel vanities are typically made from an oak wine barrel that has outlived its original five-year lifespan. continued, page 30 Serving the Central Coast since 1964



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Mother Earth will thank you. Reusing timber that would otherwise be discarded not only keeps it from going to landfill but preserves forests by preventing the same quantity of virgin timber from being harvested. Moreover, processing reclaimed wood has a lower impact on the environment compared to the felling, transporting, and processing of virgin timber. It is often rare or exotic – if it’s not from your local community. Much reclaimed wood is sourced locally, providing benefits on a local level, but there are also advantages to rescuring wood. Reclaimed wood can provide a source for a rare, exotic, or commercially unavailable wood species. For instance, with the depletion of old-growth trees, the size of available forest wood is generally smaller than what might be available from salvaged sources, since the high demand for virgin timber means trees seldom are allowed to mature to their full size. It’s a foolproof way to evoke farmhouse style. From farmhouse sinks to barnwood décor, easy, unfussy farmhouse style is all the rage with both city and country dwellers who want their homes to feel comfortable and authentic. One of the top ways to achieve this style is to incorporate old barnwood into the bathroom in the form of a vanity. It offers a rich, authentic finish. In the case of products made from salvaged wine-making materials, even the finishes are original, as the wood oaking staves gain their unique rich finish as a result of soaking in red or white wine for many months. The oak infuses tannins and aroma into the wine while absorbing the color of the grapes, and the natural finish of this rescued wood is later enhanced by hand waxing to bring out the color and protect the wood. Reclaimed wood offers texture, contrast and warmth. In a place where vast amounts of tile can quickly make a space go cold and sterile, designers are often looking for something to “warm up” master bathrooms and powder rooms. Reclaimed wood fits the bill.

Naomi Neilson Howard is the founder and CEO of Native Trails. Since 1996, she has combined age-old traditions with contemporary design and sustainable materials. Today, Native Trails’ products are sold in more than 1,300 showrooms throughout the United States, Canada and beyond. They have received numerous awards for innovation and design, and have been featured on DIY, HGTV, and W Network television shows. For more information, visit www. call (800) 786-0862.


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Reclaimed wood is naturally more durable. This is one of the greatest benefits about reclaimed wood. Because it has often already been exposed to the elements, it’s not as susceptible to the same shrinkage and movement that newer wood is. The wood has fully dried out, so it will be less prone to warping. And because it is already “aged,” there shouldn’t be any surprises about how durable it will be in the years to come – making it perfect for the bathroom.

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Trends on a Budget Thrifty Local Finds That Can Pass For Their Spendy Online Counterparts By Courtney Haile


inding a new look in home dÊcor doesn’t have to break the bank. Shopping at thrift stores or discount retail stores can fill almost every room of your home with modern, retro, or name brand items while leaving some cash left for a few accessories that will make a splash on your interior design.

230, Round Base Desk Lamp on wayfair. com $

4, gold table lamp at Goodwill in SLO (above) $

179, wood coffee table at Home Goods in SLO (left) $

119, 3 Piece Wood and Metal Jack Set by IMAX, on (above) $

50, 3 wood and metal jacks at Home Goods in SLO (left) $


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1,999, Reeder Coffee Table on onekingslane. com (above) $


105 Rattan Accent Chair on (left)

28, rattan accent chair at St. Patrick’s School Shamrock Thrift Shop in Grover Beach (above) $

630, Darlana Open Frame Table Lamp on (above) $

565, vintage Turkish Kilim Flatweave Rug on (above) $


15, open frame table lamp, Assistance League Thrift Store in San Luis Obispo (right)

40, vintage rug at SLO Swap Meet (left) $

Courtney Haile is a writer living in San Luis Obispo and is always excited about Thrifty finds for a Budget. Follow her on Instagram @courtneyhaile.

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A Former Schoolhouse Transformed Into a Home By Judy Salamacha

“The bones and lot were exactly what we wanted to do with a home.”


eartland values have always been taught at the Historic Los Berros School House. Nestled within the canyons of Arroyo Grande, the land was originally settled by founding-family, Captain William and Josefa Dana, who established the first school for their children. Today, Mike and Diane Puhek’s children recall coming-of-age memories growing up in the schoolhouse they fondly call home. In 1878 Captain Dana divided his 37,888-acre Mexican land grant among his twelve living children. The Los Berros section was deeded to William Charles Dana, then a San Luis Obispo County clerk and treasurer. A small community blossomed into a flourishing agricultural marketplace with the expansion of the Pacific Coast Railroad. By 1894 Los Berros had a schoolhouse that also held Sunday services, a post office and small railroad station. A blacksmith shop and general store were added in the early 1900s to serve chicken ranchers, who purchased their land for $20 per acre.


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A San LuisType Obispoversion: Telegram-Tribune article wrote about the new school built on Grant Avenue in 1891, “This rather elaborate new structure made a statement for Los Berros when it was constructed at a cost of $1,500.� Originally shared by Catholics and Protestants for religious services, less than Christian behavior was demonstrated during elections of trustees or selecting a teacher. The Protestants obviously triumphed. The schoolhouse was exclusively used for Sunday services by the Arroyo Grande Presbyterian Church until 1917. continued, page 37

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In the 1930s, Mrs. Williams recorded teaching as many as 30 students in the one-room schoolhouse each term – many of them were Japanese. The Christmas season was always celebrated and recess taught sportsmanship during team activities such as “anteover” and “kick-the-can.” However, the community school closed in 1944. It was a constant target for vandalism until Steve Kercsek purchased it in 1969 for $11,000. Keeping the character of the schoolhouse, Kercsek remodeled the 40X33-ft space into a two-bedroom residence with dropped ceilings and indoor plumbing. He added numerous greenhouses to the 2-acre grounds for a wholesale nursery specializing in fuchsias and begonias. In 1977 the Whitcamps continued to operate The Country Schoolhouse Nursery. And in 1985 the schoolhouse became a fulltime residence for Rob and Anita Fisher, who restored its Victorian features adding a two-story back house addition for their fostered eight children. continued, page 39

Mike Puhek rings the original school bell once “borrowed” to chime Arroyo Grande High Schools’ football conversions. LIVING Lavishly



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The Central Coast was the Puhek family’s favorite place to visit for special holidays. They were smitten by the slower lifestyle and friendly residents and had discussed a move away from Manhattan Beach while the children were still in elementary school. In between meeting business clients living on the Central Coast, Mike began to investigate available properties.

Anita Foster created stain glass art still featured throughout the Puhek home.

Since he and Diane were totally in-sync with how they wanted to raise their family, he instantly recognized the Los Berros Schoolhouse and acreage was the perfect property. continued, page 40 LIVING Lavishly


“The bones and lot were exactly what we wanted to do with a home,” he said. He would act as general contractor during a remodel to compliment Diane’s vision to restore the residence to a traditional farmhouse décor. They closed escrow in 2000, however, Diane required Mike complete her “non-negotiable punch list” before she would move from her home of 33 years to begin their life’s journey converting a schoolhouse into their family home. She anticipated more light, so windows and skylights were added along with paint in her color palette instead of the Victorian-styled wallpaper. Wood flooring replaced the carpeting. Most of all, the bedrooms needed interior access to the original schoolhouse. continued, page 82


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An Evening with

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November 16, 2016 Tickets on sale now at Presented by San Luis Obispo Classical Academy

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Giving New Life to Chairs By Mari Robeson, Interior Designer


Searching through thrift stores is always fun. You never know what treasures you’ll find. I was extremely lucky at Assistance League Thrift Store in San Luis Obispo! Right when I walked in I saw these adorable bistro chairs for only $15 a piece. All they needed were cushions and a new coat of paint.


I searched online for 14” round pillows and it was an easy find. I chose blue to go with my new paint color.


I purchased a golden yellow spray paint and a new tarp. Make sure you select a paint that will adhere to metal.


Add a cushion, a cute accent pillow and you’ve created a whole new look!

Robeson is an experienced textile and product designer with her own brand of art and home décor items sold internationally. She has also designed for companies such as Pottery Barn creating interior design renderings and surface design for home goods. Locally her projects range from the interior design of Palazzo Giuseppe’s Restaurant in San Luis Obispo and Rosa’s restaurant in Pismo Beach to dozens of the most premier homes throughout the Central Coast.


Anchor your tarp down with weights (I used bricks) in the four corners and start by spraying your chairs upside down first. Let it dry and apply more coats until you receive the color you desire.

Mari will be launching her first illustrated book; Charming & Pretty – The Art Of Home, this Fall. Follow her on Instagram & Twitter @MariRDesign & online at for the latest updates. What is her idea of Living Lavishly? “After graduating from Cal Poly years ago I feel so blessed that my husband and I have been able to stay in this beautiful area to raise our daughters and do the work that we love.”

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“Chef Doug is a master craftsman, with the main goal of creating customers who are happy and full.”

Fresh Pasta The Traditional Way By Teri Bayus


talian restaurant families are the elite to have as friends, hosts, and chefs. The recipes and concepts passed down from generations are our culinary treasury. They wouldn’t dream of cutting corners or using less than perfect ingredients. Their mantra has always been to make the customers happy. Because they do that so well, they succeed. One of the best examples of this is Rosa’s Ristorante Italiano in Pismo Beach.

their son Doug MacMillian. Lore has it that he was conceived in the kitchen, and this is where he gladly chooses to spend his life. His father, who claimed he was smart enough to have a son, taught him how to hand make the ravioli and pasta weekly using ancient recipes and techniques. Starting at 12-years-old, Doug possessed the same care and loving fondness for making his guests happy as did his parents before him.

The story began in the Central Valley when matriarch Rosa Cristallo MacMillian, with husband Bill in tow, dreamed of opening a successful restaurant in Pismo Beach. She achieved her dream using ancient craft techniques. All her recipes were rustic coming from years of time spent in Italian kitchens.

Each Wednesday he can be found covered in flour and filled with humor while he hand rolls out ravioli of both meat and ricotta cheese. Using the ancient Roman designed wooden ravioli rolling pin he averages 5000 ravioli per day. It is the most popular dish on his menu of over 40 entrees because people can taste the love and tradition. Doug has been doing this for 27 years. He said you could try to find a better way to get quality ravioli, but there is none.

In the beginning, all items had to be handmade; there was no other choice. Rosa also raised her family in the business, never lowering her standards. At the helm of the restaurant now, after Bill and Rosa moved on to the big kitchen in the sky, is


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continued, page 48

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Watching the kitchen ballet of Doug and his sous chef Sergio is spellbinding. They chat like old Italian ladies and laugh like hyenas. It all starts with a simple pasta dough of flour, semolina, and whole eggs, which Doug then sheets over and over to get the right thickness. Then the stuffing is smeared on. The ground beef has Italian herbs and spices and the whipped and herbed ricotta cheese is a secret family recipe that he keeps close to his heart and will only share with his children. Then the ravioli rolling pin is rolled across the dough, spreading and creating about 100 perfect pouches. A simple pastry knife separates them. It is both artistry and practice that allows him to finish a whole sheet of ravioli in less than 1.5 minutes. To cook, they boil for a few minutes (you can tell they are done when they float to the top). Then they are topped with marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese. Simple brilliance in one dish, done the way it has been done for hundreds of years. The ravioli rolling pin is more than 23 inches long with uniform squares for making each pocket of heaven impeccable. Doug has them handcrafted by a local cabinetry maker using the finest maple wood. The rolling pin is similar to a regular rolling pin except that there are several thin strips of wood that make a grid pattern with indentations in between them. As you roll the pin over the dough it makes the grid push down and causing the pockets to seal. Along with the ravioli, manicotti, cannoli and fettuccini, Rosa’s makes fresh baked bread every day. Doug claims it is a simple white bread. But, when it is served at your table still steaming inside, with the perfect crust, it is spectacular comfort food. With the bread, order the Italian butter, a sumptuous combination of shaved garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil and balsamic vinegar for a pre-meal feast. Photos By Theresa-Marie Wilson


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Chef Doug is a master craftsman, with the main goal of creating customers who are happy and full. His kitchen is open and his heart intent on the best meal possible; just don’t ask for the recipes, those are his children’s legacy. Rosa’s Ristorante Italiano is located at 491 Price Street in Pismo Beach and is open from 11:30-2 p.m. for lunch every day except Sunday and 4 p.m.- close every night for dinners, call for reservations for big groups (805) 773-0551. They are on the web at www. Teri Bayus is the Host of Taste Buds, shown on Charter Channel 10, KSBY, CW and on Central Coast Now.TV Teri’s Culinary Book, Consumed is available now. See more at

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Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavement System Solutions By Alexis Gaffney


ermeable interlocking concrete pavement (PICP) comprises solid concrete paving units with joints that create openings in the pavement surface when assembled into a pattern. The joints are filled with porous aggregates that allow water to freely enter the surface. PICP was introduced in Germany and other areas in Europe in the late 1980s and is widely utilized. It was brought to the United States in 1992. Both North America and countries overseas have done extensive research pointing towards significant reductions in runoff, as well as lower suspended solids, nutrients and metals when PICP systems are utilized. PICP has been recognized on a federal and state level by stormwater and transportation agencies as a Best Management Practice (BMP) and Low Impact Development (LID) tool to reduce runoff and water pollution. PICP is built on an opengraded, crushed stone base. The base offers partial treatment of pollutants in stormwater and infiltration, categorizing PICP as a structural BMP that helps to distribute runoff more efficiently through infiltration, detention, filtering and treatment. In comparison to other common pavement systems, PICP offers a number of benefits to owners and/or contractors. There is no additional time needed for curing after installation is complete; installations are ready for use immediately upon completion. In fact, installations can be completed in cold weather conditions, as long as materials don’t freeze, and in light rain. For most owners, when redoing portions of their home, sticking to a budget is a requirement. In the long run, PICP systems can result


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in a cost-effective overall project due to the reduction of drainage equipment and/or materials. In some areas of the country, when you provide a lower cost alternative drainage design system, owners can gain stormwater utility fee credits. In addition, PICP systems have a lower lifecycle cost than conventional pavements. When paving units are damaged, they can be removed individually and reinstated without the penalty of having to redo an entire area. Most PICP systems are ADA compliant. The majority of paver factories manufacture bricks in a variety of colors, providing an assortment of options for owners and endless design opportunities for contractors. The pavers can also help promote tree survival by providing air and water to the tree’s roots (roots do not heave pavement). PICPs are recommended in patios, walkways, driveways, parking lots, main and service driveways around commercial or recreational buildings, and lowspeed residential roads where the posted vehicle speed is no greater than 35 mph. These paver systems can last more than 20 years. Lifetime infiltration rates on maintenance PICP surfaces can typically average 4 to 9 inches per hour, infiltrating the most intense rainstorms. The system is not recommended in any area where there is a risk that stormwater can infiltrate and contaminate groundwater; also known as a stormwater hotspot. These areas include, but aren’t limited to, vehicle salvage yards, fueling stations, cleaning facilities, fleet storage areas, and public works storage areas. PICP systems can be installed with Full Exfiltration, which is most

common and uses only the PICP materials for drainage; Partial Exfiltration, which uses PICP materials and drainage pipes for drainage; and No Exfiltration, which is required when the soil has very low strength and entails assembling a detention pond as a runoff outlet. Feel free to ask your contractor what system they plan to install for your property so you can research the installation steps online at All PICP systems require an annual inspection along with the periodic removal of accumulated sediment from the surface. Contractors utilize a vacuumsweeper to remove the unwanted sediment build up. It is recommended to vacuum and sweep once or twice per year; however, there are some systems that haven’t been serviced at all. The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) provides a comprehensive, 92page manual, Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavements, that covers design specifications, construction/installation, and maintenance for all PICP systems. The ICPI developed a program designed to specifically educate and train contractors in constructing the system. When selecting a paver contractor for your project, make sure they are PICP and ICPI certified prior to installation. Knowledge is power; educate yourself during the construction process as well. Established in 2015, Ian Gaffney Landscape dba IGL Pavers is run by husband and wife, Ian and Alexis Gaffney. Ian is ICPI, PICP, and Allan Block certified as well as a certified applicator of Techniseal. Ian has installed more than 100,000 square feet of interlocking pavers and just over 20,000 square feet of permeable pavers in the last 18 months. Alexis is a Cal Poly SLO graduate with a bachelor of science in recreation, parks, and tourism with a concentration in special events and a minor in wine and viticulture.

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[ dinner ]


get cooking

Salmon Crouquettes and Napa Cabbage Slaw Ingredients 1 lb. Wild King Salmon, boned, cooked & flaked into small chunks

Directions •

2 tablespoons minced onion 2 cups panko breadcrumbs, separated Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper ½ cup flour 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

• •

1 1/3 cup mayonnaise, separated 2 teaspoons wasabi paste 1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice Sunflower oil lemon slices for garnish, optional


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In a large bowl gently mix the salmon, onion, 1 cup of panko, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and 1/3 cup mayo. Using your hands, form the mixture into small round cakes, about 16 total. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Make the aioli: In a small bowl, whisk the remaining cup mayo, wasabi paste, honey and lemon juice. Adjust seasonings to taste by adding more wasabi, honey or lemon. Place the remaining cup panko, flour and eggs in 3 separate dishes. Carefully dip each Note cake into the flour, the eggs and then lightly coat with panko crumbs. Set the If you don’t coated cakes on a plate. plan to serve the Coat the bottom of a heavy skillet entire slaw at one with oil and heat to medium high. sitting, store the Carefully add the cakes to the pan, making sure not to overcrowd and herbs and slaw fry until golden brown on each side, separately to keep about 2 minutes each. them fresh! Serve the salmon croquettes warm with wasabi aioli. Garnish with lemon slices.

DAVID and KAREN present Pismo & Shell Beach

Napa Cabbage Slaw

Ingredients 1 medium head Napa cabbage, shredded ½ cup green onions, thinly sliced-white and green parts 2 carrots, julienned 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped 1/3 cup mint, chopped ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds for garnish Dressing: 3 tablespoons rice vinegar David Skinner Cell: 805-459-8798 CalBRE #00552094

Karen Skinner Cell: 805-550-9001 CalBRE #01873847

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2 tablespoons sesame oil 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

Any time is a good time for giving.

1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon ginger, minced 1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek or Sriracha

Directions • • •

In a small jar add all of the dressing ingredients, cover tightly and shake to mix. In a large bowl mix cabbage, onions, carrots, cilantro and mint. Add dressing as desired to lightly coat the slaw and mix well. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and sesame seeds.

dessert recipe on page 73, get cooking

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“For us it’s all about the place: it’s our footprint and I dig that.”

Handcrafted Winemaking: A Millennial Perspective By Laura Jeffrey


hat does it mean to be handcrafted when thinking about how wine is made? Eric Johnson, the winemaker at Talley Vineyards in Arroyo Grande was a great source of information because Talley produces all of their wine by hand.

Photos by Julie Wilson Photography


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Eric cut his teeth at Talley Vineyards. As a senior at Cal Poly, he began his wine career at twenty-one at the tasting room at Talley. He followed this up with a harvest intern job in their cellar (fondly known as a Cellar Rat), and quickly was promoted to the enologist position, in charge of the chemistry of the wine. When an opening for assistant winemaker presented itself, he was promoted yet again. Eventually settling in as the head winemaker, Eric has now spent the past ten years at Talley Vineyards.

Who first got you excited about wine? “My roommate in college, Rob Sornetta, and his family…[are] from Sonoma, and we took lots of tasting trips with his mom, and listening to the gossip around there. I dug it. I loved it.”

Trends in wine come and go—what trends do you see today, and what trends will fade? “I feel like right now odd varietals are really hot. Not necessarily ones I can’t pronounce from Greece, but wines like Chenin or Alsatian and German blends of 24 varietals. I am not in favor of trends that are arbitrary, such as low alcohol [wines] are good and high alcohol is bad. For me, if it taste good, I don’t care what the numbers are. Some people say you can do anything to a wine to make it good, but I don’t agree with that. Working with the vineyard first, I am a purist-- farming the grapes to the highest degree. We don’t like manipulating here at Talley. High quality grapes can translate to high quality wine as long as I don’t screw it up. I take responsibility for the wines, not my employees.” continued, page 56

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Do you consider winemaking to be an art form? “Yes, absolutely. The winemaker makes a big impact. There are so many schools of philosophy out there. Some people rely 100 percent on numbers, but I am more of a sensory guy. For me, the more sensory you are, the higher the art form. It is so personal. What I smell may not be what you smell, and what I taste may not be what you taste. Our likes might be totally different, but we both [can] enjoy really good wines.”

What do you do by hand at Talley Vineyards? “Everything! We still hand pick everything we do small lot fermentations in separate bins. Our daily punch downs are done by hand. Every single thing is manual. That is why we lose a lot of weight during the harvest. It is top to bottom; I don’t even routinely filter the wines unless I need to. If there is a reason then I will do it. I like the wine to express itself and I’d rather not screw with it.”

When it comes to fermentations do you use native or cultured yeasts?

Photos by Julie Wilson Photography

“Here at Talley, we use 100% native yeast in both primary and secondary fermentations. During my tenure… I have learned [about] and become comfortable with native yeasts. I actually worry about my friends at other wineries using cultured yeast. People think they have more control with commercial yeast, but it is a perceived control. I love what native yeast does-- whether it’s on the grapes or found in the winery. I would never personally use manufactured yeast; I am not anti commercial yeast, because I drink a ton of those wines. For us it’s all about the place: it’s our footprint and I dig that.” continued, page 58


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As a consumer, wine lover or sommelier, why buy handcrafted wine? “When you are doing things handcrafted, it takes a lot longer and obviously costs more, but there is a human aspect [to] it. Human minds [make] decisions based on their heart and head. When wines are produced with machines, it takes some of the romance out of it-- like the romance of pulling the cork [made] from tree bark.”

Can you tell me more about Talley Vineyards being Sustainable in Practice (SIP Certified)? “We have been SIP Certified at Talley for several years. Talley has always been a sustainable vineyard, wanting to preserve the land for years to come. We have eliminated all herbicides, so now the employees have to hand hoe the vineyards. But we believe that transforms into better grapes and prevents chemicals from leaching into the soils. It was important to eliminate that

If a bottle of wine tells a story, what’s your story? “I’m just a guy who loves wine. I love the whole aspect of it. I love harvest it’s my jam; it’s my favorite thing in the world. Harvest is like a reset for me. It’s 100% of your priorities of your whole 24-hour day. My fiancée is going to say, ‘Yes, trust me, it is!’ I am here sixteen hours a day, then I go home to get a couple hours of sleep, and I am back here again every day during the harvest. I don’t get days off-- there are too many things going on during this time.”

Is there a lot like a lot of pressure on you? “This is my tenth year at Talley Vineyards and seventh as the winemaker. I don’t feel pressure during harvest but liberated. I love it out there. I am in complete control and I am not worried. I love it! There is nothing better than smelling fermentations. The smell is intoxicating and there is nothing like it. You can’t replicate it.”


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What are your passions beyond wine? “My life revolves around wine. I like to golf, but I am too busy to do it often. I like drinking crazy wines with people and geeking out. Travel should be my main hobby. I ‘ve been to several Old World wine regions such as France, Italy, and Portugal, and newer regions like New Zealand, Argentina, and Chile.” When I was in Chambolle-at Mugnier, I met the winemaker Frederic Mugnier: rock star, legendary-- a god in my mind. I asked him [if he had] any advice for me. He said ‘I always achieve more when I do less.’ For me, that’s hand crafted right there; I still get goose bumps when I think about that. I take that advice and think about it constantly when I make wine. It is easy to overthink wine. Most things that are happening in wine are taking place over a long period of

time. So if a problem comes up, chill; it may not even be a problem and [can] correct itself. Laura Jeffrey/Level One Sommelier; Certified Sommelier Candidate Owner/Operator/101 Wine Tours. Laura’s wine education began at Cal Poly through the extension program and continued with travels to international wine regions like the Swiss Vaud, Alsace, Champagne, and Burgundy, and Northern Rhone in France. She is also a 2016 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, Level One Sommelier; Certified Sommelier Candidate. LIVING Lavishly


“A lot of people who come to us want us to construct it to look like their home, so it matches.” Photos courtesy of Box Kite Barn

Perk Up Your Poultry with Luxury Chicken Coops By Theresa-Marie Wilson


he farm-to-table movement that has chefs placing locally purchased, in season recipes at the head of the table has created a taste for all things fresh. People are going back to their roots and planting their own gardens. harvesting savings and sustainability from their backyard. An increasing number of folks are taking things a step further and raising chickens as well where the eggs are always fresh and the fertilizer is always free.

“They are luxury hotels for chickens,” said Box Kite Manager Jean Wyly. “It makes a nice place for them to retreat away from predators but it dresses up your home environment, so it is not tacky looking. Some chicken coops can be really nasty looking. We also make it more convenient for the homeowner to clean the areas out and for young kids to get the eggs out easier without having to go inside the coops.”

Keeping a flock of egg-layers doesn’t mean a yard has to suffer from unsightly contraptions used to house them. Box Kite Barn Yard in San Luis Obispo handcrafts chicken condos out of reclaimed wood and materials that not only ensure the birds are living in style but also make things easier on their owners.

Give Box Kite Barn Yard the dimensions for your chicken coop and they do the rest, building everything from the basic accommodations to facilities with automatic watering systems inside or mechanical doors and windows that open and close on timers allowing the chickens to roam outside during the day and return to roost safely at dusk.


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They build about four higher-end custom coops, between five to 10 mid-range and about 25 “mom and pops” per year that cost anywhere from $1,000 to $6,000. “They are all handmade from ground level up,” said Wyly. “We are really into being green and we reuse as much wood as possible. People give us a shell idea of what they want, the size first, and then our craftsman makes a general [plan] for what it will look like. The customer comes and picks out the wood they want from oak to hardwood to Douglas-fir or whatever. They pick out every step of the way of how they want it to look, the hardware and everything.” Locally, Box Kite Barn Yard creations can be seen at Avila Valley Barn and See Canyon Fruit Ranch, but their coops can be found across California. “Our craftsman, Kenneth Hughs, has such an inventive mind,” said Wyly. “They give him dimensions, he asks them what their house looks like, what their property looks like, what kind of look they want whether it is old vintage or more modern, and he can come up with the most fabulous things.” continued, page 62

Box Kite Barn Yard craftsman Kenneth Hughs prepares wood for a new project. Photo by Theresa-Marie Wilson


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In addition to making the coops, Box Kite also sets them up at the customer’s home, which often includes leveling the ground and sometimes means making a wide structure in two pieces and assembling it on site. “A lot of people who come to us want us to construct it to look like their home, so it matches,” said Wyly. “They also want us to make it user-friendly so that they don’t have so much work to clean it out. On the higher-end ones, people want their property to smell nice and look nice and chickens can be very dirty. You want to be able to have an area that is big enough to house them so that if you don’t get to them within two or three days, it doesn’t look like you didn’t get to them in three or four days. It looks nicer. The better the surroundings the more eggs you are going to get too.” One of the biggest projects Box Kite Barn Yard built was a two-story, $7,500 chicken coop equipped with a waterwheel and mechanical windows. It was built for a customer in Orange County and used to house only about 15 hens.


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“I don’t think they really had them for the eggs,” Wyly said. “I think they had them for the kids. They had horses, geese, and hens for like a petting farm. It was beautiful.” As of yet, the company hasn’t had any requests for a themed chicken coop say along the lines of Graceland or a tribute to the White House, but they are ready for when that customer comes along. “We haven’t had any themes; we keep hoping for one,” said Wyly. Box Kite Barn Yard also builds tiny homes and artificial windbreak walls using reclaimed wood. They are located at 950 Orcutt Road, San Luis Obispo. They can be reached at 544-6650 or visit them at www.


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Trends in Smart Home Technology By Bekki Slater and Melissa Carstairs


smart home is just what it sounds like- smart! Many consumers are familiar with smart home features such as programmable watering and lighting systems. Smart homes, on the other hand, bring the automation of household activities and monitoring to the next level. A voice command or simple push of a button from a home computer or handheld device gives users the ability to control electronic equipment around a property, at any time, from anywhere. Smart homes integrate various information technologies to simplify and improve the comfort of one’s living environment with the added benefits of convenience, increased property value, and improved energy efficiency.

When it comes to residential automation, the possibilities are infinite. A smart home can include; centralized control of lighting, smart appliances, security locks of gates and doors, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), entertainment systems, ambiance control, domestic robots, and pet monitoring to name a few. A true smart home consists of appliances or devices, a central hub that communicates with a wireless modem and a phone or tablet that enable communication with the hub. The appliances and devices must be embedded with sensors that can report data and accept commands from the central hub. A popular and highly effective example of smart home technology is a smart grid. A simple illustration would be a smart grid’s ability to communicate with smart appliances during a heat wave. Utilizing the smart grid, the power company has the capacity to communicate with a thermostat and/or electronic devices to delay usage. Reduced energy loads on the power grid can prevent black outs and alleviate excessive energy consumption. Another example of smart home technology is the Connected Cree LED light bulb, which contains


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small sensors that communicate with a wink hub. An app can be downloaded to a mobile phone or tablet and syncs with the bulbs to enable remote control manipulation of lights. This smart technology is not only a security advantage, but also useful to monitor electricity usage and has the capability to quickly respond to electrical demand. The emerging trend of residential automation and upgrading a “regular” home to a smart home has become much easier and more affordable over the past few years. A quick Google search reveals many smart home products and smart appliance ratings that makes transitioning to energy efficiency straightforward and attainable to anyone interested in green real estate. Bekki Slater has more than a decade of experience in business development and leasing in the real estate industry. Her academic background includes an MBA from UOPX and a bachelor of arts in sociology from UCSB. Melissa Carstairs has a unique academic and professional background ranging from banking, education, and real estate. She earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a master’s degree in education. Bekki or Melissa can be reached at Energy-Wise Realty, 2238 Bayview Heights Drive, Los Osos. For more information, visit or call (805) 528-7130.

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Design Trends Powder Rooms Written & Illustrated By Designer, Mari Robeson

Interior Designer: Abbe Fenimore Photograph By: Heather Hawkins Photography

Out of all the rooms in your home, the powder room is the ultimate place to show off your design personality. Typically

the powder room is a small bathroom located on the first floor of a home. These rooms have always been fairly small but originally in the 18th Century they were practically closets and used as a place to “powder their wigs.” Soon the name “powder room” became a term women would use to say they were going to “powder their nose” as a way to discretely excuse themselves. Today the powder room is also considered a guest bath so show off your hospitality by making this room absolutely charming. Because the room is small it’s the perfect place to be ambitious with color, tile and wallpaper. Dropping a beautiful chandelier in the center of the room makes the room feel special and inviting. Compliment color with coordinating linens and art. Add a beautiful candle, a diffuser with essential oil and/or a small bud vase with flowers. A tiny sprig of adds the most wonderful fragrance. Little luxuries like French soaps in a pretty soap dish, a monogrammed hand towel, and high quality hand lotion, add to the entire experience. Think of tiling the back wall behind the sink with a beautiful decorative tile. Layer your mirror and sconces that sparkle on top of it for a sophisticated and dramatic look. You can really go for it and tile halfway up the walls to wainscot height or create a tile “rug” in front of the sink or even fill the back of a wall niche with your tile. Be bold and have fun! This bold and beautiful powder room was designed by Texas, interior designer, Abbe Fenimore Abbe Fenimore is a lot like her work: energetic, imaginative and full of surprises. Named one of Dallas’ Best Interior Designers from 2012-2016 by DHome, the ultra-hip designer behind Studio Ten 25 combines vibrant colors, rich textures and her own special mojo to create stunning commercial and residential spaces.


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How To Add Some Wow! To Your Powder Room Add Fun Lighting Like These Vintage Pagoda Sconces

Use Wallpaper Or Decorative Tile Invest In A Beautiful Mirror

The Best Distance Between Sconces 36” - 40” Best Height Of Sconces 60” - 72” Eye Level

Add Fresh & Fragrant Flowers

The Best Hand Soap & Lotion

Use Dramatic Color & Add Architectural Interest With Wainscoting & Crown Molding

Show Off Beautiful Linens Create a “Rug” Design With Tile

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Painting for Joy and Reflection By Terry Sanville


ometimes you just have to grab onto the things that make you happy. Sometimes it takes a while to discover them. For Atascadero artist Peggy Turk, oil painting became one of those things. Born in Berkeley, California, Peggy grew up in the East Bay Area during the sixties, in a controlling Mormon household with two brothers and a sister. At 5, she drew a bunny rabbit in a cage (heavy symbolism here) and her teacher told her she was an artist. She loved all art forms, including decorating her classroom walls and later illustrating poetry books put out by her middle school class. A high school art teacher sparked her interest in oil painting. But the stress of family life made her stop painting and leave home at 18. She got a job as a secretary in a law firm. A year later she moved to Truckee, California, where she worked as a legal secretary for the local judge. Eventually, Peggy became a certified paralegal for a lawyer specializing in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases. She enjoyed the investigative/research aspects of the job for many years, and found advocating for clients rewarding. Married in 1981, Jeff and Peggy have three sons; her youngest has Down syndrome. Raising a family while writing legal briefs and working on complex cases left little time for art. But at age forty, oil painting became a joyful way of balancing her life’s stresses. She fell in love with plein air painting – painting on location. Peggy loves being out in nature, trying to capture the magic of light as it rapidly changes. “I like completing at least 80 to 90 percent of a work on-site, to preserve the spontaneity of the piece,” she said. After living in Truckee for 32 years and painting outdoors in snow country (brrrrrrrrr), Jeff and Peggy moved to Atascadero in 2010. She became an advocate for her youngest son, trying to ensure that he received the best education possible in a school system not fully prepared to accommodate children with special needs. Now, with her other two sons graduated from college, Peggy has more time to paint, to hone her skills, to learn from the masters and from artist friends, and to produce beautiful landscapes and seascapes. “One of my greatest joys is when someone falls in love with one of my paintings. I don’t try to pressure anyone to buy my work. I just want each to have a good home where it will be enjoyed.” In 2011, she displayed her artwork at Olive Tree Fine Arts Gallery in Atascadero. “It was the first time I put my work out there. You have to be brave to be an artist.” From 2013 to 2015, she was a resident artist at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles. Peggy is currently an associate-partner at The Gallery at the Network on Higuera Street in downtown San Luis Obispo, where a sizable sample of her work is displayed. For more examples of her art, check out her website at For more information, feel free to contact her at


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Secrets of a Home Stager with Tips on Fall Decorating By Mary Martin Marquardt

Autumn Mantel A white pumpkin is transformed into a homemade vase. Select a pumpkin about eight inches in diameter; cut off the top, and scoop out pulp and seeds. Place a small container, such as a highball glass, inside the pumpkin. Trim flowers to fit. Try putting squash inside bell jars or bleached white pinecones mixed with fall leaves. Olive branches and toyon berries will add color to your arrangement.


reating quality spaces with high caliber furnishings results in an enormous payoff in home decor for your living investment. By transforming your house into a home, your choices will result in purchasing quality furnishings that will last a lifetime while creating confidence, comfort, and function for yourself, family and friends. This is a wonderful time of the year to purchase a well-crafted sofa ready to accent for the season. Look at your past. Did you grow up with accepting the hand-me- downs? Or perhaps the living room furniture was so expensive and pristine it was unusable? Start with some permanence in your life and invest in a comfortable American made sofa. Lee Industries and American Leather invest with sustainable partners using responsible resources and materials. Is there a dog in the household? Doritos? Pick a hardworking neutral yet fabulous fabric. Nothing is more soothing than a neutral color palette, especially in today’s technologically-driven world where the senses are continually overloaded with images and information. Neutrals go beyond beige, and with the right accents are anything but boring. Neutrals are essentially timeless and never go out of fashion.


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Let’s take a look at fall accents for the space you are creating. Add visual interest and an organic feel, oozing texture, reminding us of this new autumn season by choosing warm fabrics for a few pillows with soft down inserts. Always make sure there is a touch of white or beige in the pillow fabric to tie this accent with the sofa fabric. Also, add in an area rug and a cozy throw. Complete getting your living area in order before you do additional accents. Now we have a sofa or a sectional with inviting autumn accents of a throw and pillows. Hopefully, your coffee table is functional and the chairs fill in the seating necessities. Add a pull-up stool made out of a natural material. Finish with the window treatments. Not only will this purchase create privacy, but it will protect your investment in your sofa and chairs from discoloration. The term “window treatments” refers to any way you might cover your windows. Roman Shades and other manufactured products provide much-needed privacy, and the addition of rods and stationary side panels will finalize your living area. This combination is more California casual than full functional draperies.

Fall Accent with Raffia A single clay pot can be stained or painted or waxed for a new dimension. Or work with a heavy large diameter clear vase. Start with a battery operated candle and then fill and frill to your heart’s delight. Birds’ castoff plumage can add interest--feathers are beautiful when presented in decor. Stand them up in the container add a bird’s nest and some dried oak leaves.

Autumn Centerpiece Shall we start with the centerpiece? A table demands a feast for the eyes. Bear in mind that a well-mannered centerpiece should never block guests’ views of one another. A low profile encourages dinner conversation. A swallow container is just what’s needed, leaving room for lavish helpings of pomegranates, pumpkins, birch logs with cut outs for votive candles. Think of natural garlands of grapevine wrapping pumpkins and squash from the Avila Barn scattered with colorful berries and lemon leaves.

Now the number one secret of a stager is in place. You have created a welcomed space! The second secrete--declutter. The little turquoise book by Marie Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, landed us on the first step to organizing and eliminating in order to spark joy. Always have a “good will” bag to fill up and recycle. Never buy anything unless you pass on an item in your house. Shop smart for quality. Also, be mindful of the carbon footprint your purchases leave behind--you don’t need to buy fake ferns, silk flowers, plastic pumpkins, or scary jack-o-lanterns. Now the Fun! Accents come from the gifts of nature to create tabletop displays of fall abundance: gourds, pumpkins, green apples, popcorn, fall leaves, dried bean, pinecones, rocks, bark and branches, dried berries and seed pods, squash, clay pots, olive branches, evergreens, fall fruit, clear glass containers, bell jars, natural trays, heirloom silver and china, grapevines, raffia and natural twines, stag horns, woodchips, pomegranates, persimmons, cacti, succulents, corn and their husks, lemon leaves, burlap ribbon, and dried hydrangeas.

Whether you’re a floral pro or a novice get your home ready using some of the above suggestions and create colorful and unique fall arrangements. These arraignments give the feel of a late season walk in the wild. Everything is made with items that can be found in your surroundings. Nature and your garden are filled with raw materials.

Promoting innovative design and creativity in our community, Mary Martin Marquardt is the owner of San Luis Traditions, a furniture and interior design studio. Traditions has offered residential and commercial deign in SLO County since 1989. For more information visit sanluistraditions. com or call 805 541-8500.

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get cooking

Peach and Apricot Clafouti Ingredients Unsalted butter 5 large peaches, skinned and cut into small wedges, separated 5 apricots, skinned and cut into small wedges, separated 3 eggs 2/3 cup flour ¼ cup sugar 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla Pinch of salt 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon powdered sugar 1 2/3 cup heavy cream, separated ½ tablespoon brown sugar

[ dessert ]

Directions • • • • • •

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 2-quart gratin dish with butter.


To easily skin the fruit, submerge it into a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Remove immediately and allow to cool slightly. Skin will peel off easily.

In a blender, mix the eggs, 1 cup cream flour, sugar, vanilla and salt 15 seconds. Pour a thin layer of the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange half of the fruit wedges in concentric circles in the dish. Pour the rest of the batter over the fruit. Bake until puffed, golden brown and set in the center, about 50 minutes. While the pastry is baking, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a pan. Place the rest of the fruit wedges in the pan, sprinkle in the brown sugar and drizzle with lemon juice. Stir to mix and cook until softened and heated through. Let cool slightly. In a medium metal bowl, with a hand mixer, combine the rest of the cream and powdered sugar until it is whipped and firm. • To serve, plate each slice topped with warmed fruit and a dollop of whipped cream. 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.

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Indoor Comfort Abounds in an Outdoor Atascadero Landscape By Todd Davidson

The clean lines of the fire pit area is quaintly nestled for comfort by a floating hardwood IPE bench


uying a new home in a newly developed neighborhood is the American Dream at its finest. Fulfilling this dream in San Luis Obispo County is even finer. Despite all the benefits and charms of a new home on the Central Coast, many developers will include a landscape in the front yard, but leave the backyard barren with dirt and only drainage addressed.


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This was the case for Sam Yelinek when she purchased her home in a beautiful new development in eastern Atascadero. Sam knew she needed professional landscape design and construction assistance to create her desired back yard to enjoy in private, as well as entertain friends and family. She sought the professional services of Sage Ecological Landscapes to bring her dream to reality.

As locals know, Atascadero can be quite hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Therefore, Sam wanted a large roof-covered shade structure to offer a reprieve from the blazing summer sun and a patio with a fire pit to enjoy warmth during cooler evenings. The shade structure became quite large and, with a roof, engineering specifications were needed for structural stability. continued, page 76

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An outdoor kitchen island with a grill, along with a bar island provided the perfect environment for eating a great meal with friends and family. The siding of the kitchen and island was wrapped up with IPE Brazilian hardwood. Additionally, the shade structure protects a lovely floating IPE hardwood deck with built-in benches to lounge on during hot summer days. Low voltage LED down-lighting softly illuminates the space for hours of outdoor evening enjoyment. The clean lines of the fire pit area is quaintly nestled for comfort by a floating hardwood IPE bench, seemingly suspended on a stucco retaining wall. The geometry, simplicity and repetition of materials evoke a modern contemporary feel. The plant materials, selected for frost, heat and drought durability are mostly California natives along with some select dwarf Japanese Mugo Pines, suggest a California-Japanese Zen fusion. The black bark mulch also makes the entire planting envelope look sleek and clean. A water conserving drip system completes the garden with efficient irrigation allocations to each plant. Recently, Sam’s backyard landscape was selected as the first place winner of the California Landscape Contractors Association 2016 Large Residential award. Despite the accolades of an award-winning garden, Sam finds daily rewards with a deep enjoyment of her sacred garden space as she regularly entertains or relaxes with solitary reflection in her private sanctuary. Todd M. Davidson is the owner of Sage Ecological Landscapes & Nursery. Sage’s award winning team specializes in custom landscape design and construction of unique landscape creations around the Central Coast and beyond. Visit them at, call 805-574-0777 or stroll through their outdoor living landscape showcase at 1188 Los Osos Valley Road, in Los Osos.


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American Barn & Wood There are so many different design aspects in which reclaimed barn wood can be used

By Kira Olshefski


eclaiming a part of America’s heritage is what John and Kira Olshefski of American Barn & Wood are doing at their reclaimed wood lumberyard in Paso Robles. Barns of long ago are disappearing with the passage of time and farm modernization and are coming down for safety or liability reasons. John and Kira look for 19th-century Midwestern barns that can be recycled for lumber or resurrected so that their legacy continues to live on.

Starting a business was not the Olshefski’s intention. Originally, they wanted to resurrect an old barn that could be turned into a home office. They found one for sale by a dismantler in Michigan. John flew out to create drawings of the barn and label each piece for reassembly. The dismantler loaded the first of two trucks and then abandoned the job taking the Olshefski’s money. John and Kira had a truckload of barnwood, but not the entire barn to reassemble. They could not find anyone else with the proper equipment to complete the disassembly. Unfortunately, they had to walk away from the other half of the barn because the land was being sold for a housing development and the remaining part of the structure had to be torn down. In order to recover some of their costs, they started selling the barnwood. They were very surprised to see that there was a niche market for it. Lo and behold, this was how American Barn & Wood started. The Olshefski’s call this their “making lemonade out of lemons” story. 

For many customers, walking through American Barn & Wood is like walking through a candy store. There are two large industrial units and an outside yard that neatly display reclaimed barnwood, hand hewn barn beams of all sizes and lengths, barn doors, architectural salvage, and much more. One can’t help but feel like they have stepped back in time. Purchasing a piece of the past isn’t the only distinction the business offers; customers also receive a story about their barnwood. John takes pictures of the barn before it is dismantled. Kira and a local historian research family and farming history to be turned into a written legacy. Some of the interesting tidbits of history include a barn built in 1876 by a Civil War veteran and a barn built using pine trees that were once at the center of a pre-Revolutionary War skirmish, The Pine Tree Riot of 1772. continued, page 80


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There are so many different design aspects in which reclaimed barnwood can be used. Old world charm, rustic, Tuscan, and modern all have a common design element of wood. In and out of San Luis Obispo County, rescued barnwood from American Barn & Wood has been used in homes, restaurants, breweries, wineries, and more. Barnwood planks and siding have been used in a variety of customer projects: farmhouse tables, shelving cabinets, flooring, ceilings, custom-built furniture, she sheds, man caves and more. Many people come seeking barn beams for fireplace mantels, ceiling beams, pergolas, and other projects. A sense of wonder and appreciation is gained when one realizes that the barnwood beams were hand hewn from a tree more than 100 years ago with just an ax and/or an adze used to shape and trim timber. There is a comfort in knowing that using reclaimed barnwood is reclaiming a part of America’s heritage. John and Kira Olshefski are the owners of American Barn & Wood. Their business supplies homeowners and professionals with a wide variety of barn wood, barn doors, beams and more. Visit them at 3460 La Cruz Way in Paso Robles. For more information, visit or call 805-610-7838.


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continued, from page 13 Vernon hired craftsmen to hand carve every timber rafter and trellis beam. In addition, he sourced out and repurposed many of the original building components. Clay fire pots, iron railings, ceramic tile risers, and many other details were incorporated that brought the home to full splendor.

The only thing missing on the Central Coast is

An iron chandelier was placed to cast shadow patterns across the plaster walls in the entry. Iron railings, gates, and stair railings with ornate arched openings welcome guests while framing views to the rest of the house. The finishes are as rich as the details including hand-plastered walls, carved wood beams, and Saltillo tile floors.

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True to much of Moorish architecture, the home unfolds in great splendor at the courtyard pool in the middle of the property. The pool house includes carved timber rafters and mint green tile columns to reflect into the pool, creating a romantic oasis. The pool house is spectacular at night as the Moroccan lamps throw a kaleidoscope of lights onto the plaster columns. The undersides of the two-piece clay tile roof of the cabana is exposed to the sitting area below and Moorish screen elements were integrated into the design to provide dappled light and shade for these outdoor lounge areas. In the end, both Vernon and Grant took the original vision to a level beyond what was originally planned. Creating a unique and beautiful home that takes advantage of its stunning surroundings. RRM’s mission is Creating Environments People Enjoy. Their designs and culture embody sustainability, collaboration, innovation, and execution. They have an expert team of more than 100 architects, civil and structural engineers, landscape architects, planners, and surveyors who are passionate about implementing your visions. They are located at 3765 S. Higuera St, San Luis Obispo and can be reached at 543-1794. Visit RRM Design Group at


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continued, from page 40 The Puheks enhanced the everyday living space and grounds to entertain family and friends while maintaining the integrity of the original schoolhouse theme and architecture. Diane’s flare for selecting interesting eye-appealing ornamentation invites the visitor to linger and browse each room and wall space. “Hands down perfect,” Diane says about their family’s schoolhouse that welcomes home Nicolas, Jordan, Delaney, and Amelia – and someday the next generation of Puheks.

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Design a functionally beautiful space Quality and style

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Living Lavishly Magazine Vol. 3  

A home decor & design magazine featuring talent and products from the beautiful Central Coast of California.

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