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Travel by Design…California, Sonoma County

Vintage Suitcases

Seriously…I love to combine work and play…when I’m traveling I’m always on the look out for cool salvage shops or interesting design ideas, so it is no surprise when visiting my twin sister in California for a little vacation…I squeezed in some work :)

Vintage Suitcases

These vintage suitcase were a gift from my girlfriend, Regina. I cleaned them and shipped them back to Vermont — where they are now proudly displayed. Thank you! Regina!

Seriously, my sister and I ate at the counter at the Fremont Diner in Sonoma, and that was sitting in front of me the whole time! Crazy yummy food. The place is an ICON! You must visit there when you are traveling in Wine Country.

Diner mugs… you gotta love them! This display is something I’ll keep in mind for future kitchen design ideas.

Vintage Ford Explorer Truck Yellow

Just in case, you were wondering what I want for my birthday… a vintage Ford Explorer Truck will do!

This is a fun stop in the town of Sonoma, California. Café Scooteria, where you can drive up and they’ll serve you coffee at your window. Or hang out at the shop — and enjoy it there. Rosanne and I road our bikes there. I mean really who could resist Italian style coffee drive-thru located at a vintage scooter mechanic’s shop? Not us!

Rosanne relaxing, while I check out all the vintage bikes…

Now… work time… yes, you can see we take our work seriously. Rosanne (pictured here) is working on a design project for a villa in wine country so I’m helping out for a couple of days.  Rosanne was making sure, Regina Martinelli, from Martinelle Winery, measured up to helping out for the day as well. Turns out she does. :)

I’ll admit, I haven’t been to a lot of ballgames — but really is there a pretty stadium than AT & T Park in San Francisco? WOW!

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Into the city of San Francisco we go! For a ballgame that is! We were taking our lives in our own hands wearing our St. Louis Cardinal’s gear in the Giant’s stadium. Gorgeous day! Beautiful spot.

Pladra Clothing Line USA

Shopping in San Francisco’s, after a yummy breakfast at … Pladra, a very cool custom flannel clothing line made in San Francisco, has a very cool Pop Up Shop on Hayes Street. Loved their displays. Again… great ideas for a rustic Americana entrance way look!

Bodega Bay…early, early in the morning… surfers, fog and us. Really doesn’t get any better!

When we were not hiking, or doing design work…we were…busy meeting people and drinking their wine — which was outstanding! Here we are having a blast at Buena Vista Winery. I felt like I was back in Italy! The nicest people there — they took such great care of us!

LOVED the private lounge, party area upstairs at Buena Vista — someone rent that out for me for my birthday please! And the Champagne Lounge downstairs was fantastic as well.

Rosanne and I getting a private tour — we were honored! Thanks for making us feel so special. It was a great day.


Artefact Design & Salvage

Rosanne and I shopping at Artefact Design &Salvage in Sonoma…Love their displays and vintage finds… amazing shop for anyone who wants to add something special to their home design.

And Rosanne says I’m the one with the bad sense of direction… Lost again, on the trails through Sonoma… Here is Rosanne showing me the way out.

Once again, hiking in Sonoma, who would have thought an amazing Redwood forest in the middle of wine country

Visiting Martinelli Vineyards…the back side of the vines…gorgeous day! If you have not tried their wines — I insist you run out and get a bottle — my fav — the Pinot Noir.

Here is Rosanne again…this time we stuck to the trail at Bartholomew Winery Park. LOVED the Redwood forest in the middle of the hike. It was a great trail system.

Here I am, helping Rosanne out with her design project. Don’t worry when she comes to see me, she helps me with all my projects as well.

Seriously, I should have picked this up. $20 at Republic of Thrift (benefiting the public schools), a second hand shop in Sonoma. It would have looked so cool framed in a huge frame hung in a living room — Adobe style house… Love all the second hand shops out West!

Being from Vermont — I’m sure you can understand how much I appreciate an amazing Mexican food meal. Here is a hidden gem in Sonoma…El Molino.  The before picture…

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A house for sale in Sonoma comes will all the parts and pieces you could ever want… LOVED this place. Housing hunting with my sister…

The backyard at Artefact Design & Salvage. LOVE the extra large blue industrial pot…looks like an old smeltering pot turned into a garden container. I can see it in a very large sunroom with a huge orange tree growing out of it. The fair wheel is fun too!

Rosanne’s friend… has the original…salt and pepper in old toy trucks… or at least that is where she got the idea, and I got the idea from her… and other’s got the idea from me… and so on and so on…

How happy am I? Craft coming right up!


A DIY Craft I made from my memories of my trip… sand dollars from Bodega Bay. Lots and lots of fun!

I didn’t get here but I will next time! Sonoma Nesting Company and many other interesting places to visit… I’ll be back!





Upcoming Event…The Vintage Bazaar

Hope you will join us!

Hope you will join us!

Looking forward to presenting How to Design & Decorate with Salvage and Vintage Goods, plus DIY’s and book signings…at the amazing, spectacular Vintage Bazaar! Plus, I’ll have a booth this year! Lots of goodies will be for sale! See you in Salisbury, Mass, on June 20 and 21! (Only 30 minutes from Boston)  My Best, Joanne

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Win These DIY Long-Horn Coasters or Make Your Own

Win these coasters and vintage vest!

Next stop on my fun Salvage Secrets Book & Presentation Tour is Marburger Farm Antique Show, Round Top, Texas! Big Thank you to Tara for inviting me! I’ll be signing my Salvage Secrets books on Thursday, April 2nd, from 9 a.m. to noon near the Promenade. Come by, say hi and enter to win these coasters and vintage Vermont hunting vest!In honor of my Texas outing, I made these Long Horn Texan Coasters out of reclaimed wood. If you can’t make it to Round Top…here are the DIY instructions to make your own! Enjoy!  My best, Joanne

These 5″ boards from a 200 year old farmhouse in Vermont are just perfect. Using a chop saw, I cut the board the same width, to create the squares. Then hand sanded them -don’t forget the sides and edges.

An easy web search came up with a drawing of a long horn steer head which I copied and pasted to a word document and then sized down to fit the coaster. Then I cut it out and using a pencil, I traced it onto the wood.

Using a small art sized paintbrush, I carefully outlined the drawing in white paint. Then I filled in the middle with paint and let dry. Then I added a second coat. Once dried completely I rubbed the whole coaster with watered down white paint and wiped off, to give it a white-washed look. I let dry and then sealed with a polyurethane. Then I added some felt feet to the bottom so they won’t scratch the table!

Your very own Western Long Horn Texas Coasters! Use any design you want! Seahorses, deer, or even fish!

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Marburger Farm Antique Show at Round Top & West Elm in Austin!

At my book signing at the Marburger Farm Antique Show at Round Top, I’ll be raffling off these Long Horn vintage wood coasters I made, along with a vintage Vermont hunting vest. Stop by, say hi and enter to win! Looking forward to wearing my cowboy boots.

I can’t wait to go to Texas! I’ve never been to Round Top Antique Fair or Austin, so I’m thrilled to say, I’ll be heading to both. On Thursday, April 2nd, I’ll be signing books at Marburger Farm Antique Show from 9 a.m. to noon and EXCITING NEWS!…on Friday I’ll be giving a How to Design & Decorate with Salvage and Vintage Goods talk at West Elm in Austin from 5:30-8 p.m. (This was just announced, only 30 seats available. RSVP)

AT MARBURGER FARM ANTIQUE SHOW… I’m also bringing a little Vermont to Texas! Besides signing my books, answering your questions, you can enter your name in a raffle for a vintage hunter’s vest from Vermont and Longhorn coasters I made from wood from an 1800’s barn in Vermont. So stop by and say hi and enter to win. I’ll be near the Promenade (close to the café). Can’t wait to see you there!

You have got to check out their website. Full of amazing information about the show!

You have got to check out Marburger’s website. Full of amazing information about the show! Check out the map!

At West Elm on West 5th Street in Austin, on Friday, April 3rd…coming join me for a presentation, slideshow and Q&A about Salvage Design.

With over 75 slides of amazing salvage design and DIY projects, Joanne will show you how to add it and where to find it. Don’t miss out on the presentation. It will be fun, funny and filled with great design ideas!

More information and tickets available HERE! The Naples, Florida event sold out in a week, so don’t miss out! Tell your friends in Austin.

I’ll be talking more about Texas, styles, designers, and some inside scooping about shopping Round Top! Plus a DIY Post on how to make the Longhorn Coasters! So make sure you follow along on the blog (see the email sign-in on the right).

Till then…Y’ALL have a great day!

My best, Joanne

2014 In Pictures…Thank you Everyone for an Amazing Year!

Wow, when I finally decided what my last post would be for the year 2014, I decided to do a recap of the year in pictures… When I went through the pictures — I realized… holy…. bleep! I did a lot of stuff. Phew. It was a glorious, fabulous, busy, exciting, adventurous year and every day I feel blessed for family, my dear friends and new friends in my life. There is too much to share, so I’ll just show you a handful of the dozens of projects and adventures. I have a feeling 2015 will be just as fun and exciting, so I hope you will join me in all the adventures to come! Thank you all for your support and kindness. Here’s a toast to you!  My best, Joanne


The Mad River Barn continues to be a fun project… with more tables needed for the pub and game room, finishing up the farmhouse kitchen, another bar and much more. Next year, the Annex and more.

Design concepts, fabrics and colors for Basin Harbor Club

Brining the hardwood floors back to life and picking paint colors.

Love working with the folks at Basin Harbor Club as their new decorator. Thrilled to bring a new look and feel to their spaces, one room, cottage and space at a time. This year a few more will be transformed. Can’t wait to share them with you!

Can’t wait to share more with you about the Café…

Designing and then building a trade show booth.

Designing and Building a Trade Show Booth for a Client…

Behind the scenes design work…

Residential projects have included a ranch house in California, concepts design for an art center turned into a residential home, refresh projects in kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms, and dining rooms. You’ll see lots of these fun projects in the coming year.


The gang for Eating Well Magazine during a photo shoot.

Setting the table for a shoot…

Working with Jim Westphalen is always an amazing learning experience. A very talented photographer! Thanks Jim for having me prop style for you at the Green Mountain Inn.

More work with Eating Well Magazine with photographer Jim Westphalen.

I can’t help myself… the antique shop up the street from me. I like to create a new monthly wall for them. Champlain Valley Antiques.

Loved helping out at Eating Well as a food prop stylist, a hotel styling project with Jim Westphalen, including Green Mountain Inn, and a few more magazine and style projects… More coming in January!


Wow! Can’t believe my second book came out this spring! Crazy busy since then…New York, Ohio, Atlanta, San Francisco (twice), Portland, Oregon, Phoenix, Boston, Salisbury, Mass and a few more very special places I was able to travel to this year for book signings and presentations. I have meet the most amazing people during 2014! Thank you!

Build It Green NYC event

Restoration Resources Boston!

Country Living Fairs — New York, Ohio, and Atlanta were a huge hit!

Book signings…


Still loving all the work I get to do for DIY NETWORK and now I’m working with other publications creating unique items out of salvaged goods. Of course, I can’t show you all the projects (we’d be here another year) but here are a few…

DIY NETWORK Creative Spaces Article…

Love seeing 5 of the 9 projects on the cover of the DIY NETWORK page be things I’ve made :) Get all warm and fuzzy inside.

More Holiday Projects for DIY NETWORK!

Can’t wait to show you the five projects for a magazine coming soon. This is just one of the BEFORE pictures.

Family and Friends

This is certainly not last…but I wanted to save it for last — being the most important and all…

When I’m not working… It is basketball, lacrosse and volleyball all the way. Go CVU! (Gabrielle is #4).

The lake froze over so I could watch from the window, Gabrielle and the neighborhood kids having a blast!

Siblings annual weekend — so special!! Me, Rosanne, Julie and Charlie — love you guys!

Regina — my new dear friend. Thanks Tawnya for the intro.

Holidays with family. Mom and Dad fly back home every year. :)

Surprise 80’s dress-up B-day party for my friend (on the left). Great girlfriends.

My dear friend Susan, another book together and lots of fun travel tales to tell…

Steve and Gabrielle and I at a sporting event in his hometown. Gabrielle competed…we watched. I’m blessed. Thank you all for being there.



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