Sue Murphy

Every House has a story...a soul.  My job as a designer is to tell that story.



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    Raising the Roof

    French Style with Sea Shells

    Bathroom Remodel



    So Sorry!

    Our first morning in Reno.  It wasn't like this when we went to bed.



    I know I have been MIA.  Please forgive me.  As I explained in my Post at Halloween, a lot is happening in our lives right now.  Our relocation to Reno has taken more time than I expected and the lap top I brought with me to keep connected was so out dated I wasn't able to Post.  I think I have it up and running now.  How to explain what is going on and Where do I start?

    A little back ground.  My Hubby and I have been looking for the last couple of years for a location where we would like to retire.  We spent so many years trying to make it to the Coast we thought we could never leave the ocean.  We were exploring the California central coast.  During this time I had been doing a lot of work in Reno NV.  Hubby had always loved it up there but it was never some place I had considered moving.  We loved going up to Lake Tahoe on my time off and one time on the way up the hill we wandered into a place called Galena. 


     A beautiful mountain community. The beautiful Pine covered lots with views of the snow capped mountain and streams running through took my breath away.  I was hooked.  I called Hubby and he jumped on a plane.  Long story short we bought a 2 acre lot with mountain and valley views.  Our retirement spot.  Some day this is where we planned to land.

    Fast forward a year latter.  Hubby's company Centex Homes a national home builder merges with Pulte homes. They scale back and  many jobs get cut.  Hubby has made it through most of the cuts.  Two months ago his boss came to him and said there was going to be more cuts coming and knowing we wanted to relocate to Reno eventually would we consider a move now.  Well we were really thinking 4 to 5 more years, not now.  But looking at all of the alternatives, especially in these tough economical times being able to relocate with a job in hand sounded like a good idea.  Plus we can build our New home while we are still young to enjoy it.  So we finished some project on the beach house and put it on the market.  Hubby had to start his new job Nov. 1, so we have packed him up and moved him to an apartment in Reno.  I will be commuting back and forth to Southern California until the house sells and I have finished all of the projects I have going on.  Talk about making a quick life change.  I am still in shock.  It is a stressful time but we are going to make the best of it. 

    The exciting part is I get to start putting together my inspiration files for the new home.  It will be a combintaion Rustic Country French meets Mountain Cabin. So stay tune for some of my pictures.


    Didn't mean to write a book, but I thought you needed an explanation on what has been keeping from blogging.  Keep us in your thoughts and hope our house sells soon, so we can move on with our lives.


    Happy Halloween!

    I know I have been remiss in not posting as much as usual.  Things have been very busy around this house hold.  My Kitchen was picked for the cover of a national magazine, so have been busy with a photo shoot here.  Also a very unexpected move for us from the California Coast to the Lake Tahoe/Reno area.  Very exciting but also very scary.  It took us a life time to make it to the coast and now we are leaving.  I promise to post more about both of these in the next couple of days.  In the mean time here are two crazy Halloween decorations I found.  The first sent by my Sister-in-Law.

    And this picture I took while driving in our new neighborhood.  Glad to see the neighbors have a sense of hummer.

    Happy Halloween to you All!   Sue


    Happy Pumpkin Day (or Is Halloween going to the Dogs)

    My Sister-in-law sent me these pictures.  I hope they brighten your day as much as they did mine.



    I am Joining Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.  Please go over and see what all of the other talented people have to share.





     I would love to hear from you.  To link back to your blog please leave your URL link in http://www.  format.


    Dan Carithers again.

    In one of my earlier posts I had posted about a beautiful home I found in a back issue of Southern Accents.  The designer was Dan Carithers.  You can read the post here.  Well today while yet again looking for a little inspiration I was surfing the web looking at architectural sites.

    I ran across a home that caught my eye.  Well guess what, the designer on this one was non other than Dan Carithers.  I really like his style.  This homes is a little more formal than the last one, but I love most of the elements in it.

     I am in Love with these rustic beams and the book cases on the back wall!

    Oh this Kitchen!!!  I want to see more of it!  The beams the old wood floor!


    The Mix of Rustic and refined and Antiques with new pieces is just right.

    I love his use of color.  He uses a lot of neutrals, but when he uses color such as the blue in the bedroom above he uses it as a neutral.  It creates a very soothing room.

    Now I am going to have to do some more searching to see what other of his designs catch my fancy.  Which of his designs is your favorite?  

    I am looking for an article on Dan Carithers in the January 2004 House Beautiful Magazine called Sun Valley Splendor.  Any one have that issue?  Could you scan and e-mail me a copy?

    Thanks so Much.  Sue


    French Garden House

    I am sure that this picture is familiar to a lot people who read blogs.

    These beautiful Antique Chateau Mirrored Doors come from Lidy's Shop at French Garden House.  You can link to her shop here.  Lidy also writes a wonderful blog! If you haven't visited her before you are really missing out.  She has a wonderful flair all her own.  You will be delighted by the wonderful treasures she has waiting for you in her on line shop.  I am always anxious to see what she has to share with us.  

    Back to my story.  When I saw these doors they melted my heart.  Living in a contemporary beach house I knew I had no place for them but they were just right for one of my clients.  

    We had been searching for something wonderful to go on a large focal point wall.  I felt these would be just perfect!!!!  I e-mailed pictures to my client and she agreed.  Just one problem, they were 6 inches too tall for the ceiling heights we had.  Lidy was kind enough to remeasure for us and give us the height of the threshold piece. You guessed it.  There was 6 inches we could cut off from the bottom.  My client flew in and I picked her  up at LAX and we met Lidy at the warehouse to see the doors in person.  More Beautiful than the pictures!!!!  We grabbed them up and the rest is history.  Here is what they look like in my client's home.

     The doors have been hung on the wall since I took these photos, so they no longer lean.

    Don't they look wonderful!!!!!???!!!!   Thank you Lidy for all of your help in getting these doors for my client.  The are exactly what we wanted.

    It would be fun to see what others have done with treasures they have found on on-line stores.  I would love it if you would share your stories with me.

    I am joining Artie at Color Outside the Lines for Vignette Friday and


     My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday



    The Ultimate Laundry room

    Thought I would share with you the Laundry room I was working on.

    Here is the rough space.  This is the main entry from the garage so it needed to beautiful, (for the back door guests) serve as a mud room, Laundry room, extra storage area, entry to the walk in pantry and lastly a desk area was needed.  A tall order for a room with five doors leading in and out.  Did I mention it has a door to the kitchen and then a door that goes to the master closet.  (I have actually designed this feature in homes many times, a door to the master closet from the Laundry.  It really saves steps)

    The cabinets I custom designed going in. (that is the door to the pantry)

    The freezer was built into the Cabinets so it would disappear.

    A bench was built right next to the garage door with storage for jackets above and boots in the bench.  There is also a built in ironing board in the drawer on the left

    We used a large copper sink for the laundry sink and a French pastry table for folding laundry. 

    The exterior entrance to the Laundry room.



    The Patio off of the entrance

    Another view of the outside entrance to the Laundry.  Isn't it charming.

    I think I could even enjoy doing Laundry if I got to Do it in this room.  What about you?  What things do you expect a laundry room to double as?

    I am Joining Between naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday. Please follow the link to see what all of the other talented bloggers have to show.





    Peter Valli photography

    While researching the Pasadena tour I was trying to find some more pictures of these homes to show. ( Of course we were not allowed to take photographs)  I clicked on to the website of one of the photographers Peter Valli and was blown away with this home he had photographed.  Sometimes the perfect vignettes are almost the lack of them.  

    See what you think.


    What do you think?  Could you live here?


    I am joining Artie at Color Outside the Lines for Vignette Friday

    And Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home


    Pasadena Home tour Continued

    Here are some photos of the other homes on the tour.