Vivez Bien * Live Well

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Dogs and Decor

 Do you allow dogs to sit on your sofa?

 People have differing views on dogs and their place in the household, but in our house, the dogs are pretty much the topdogs!  They consider themselves part of our family (which they are) and cannot understand why they might not be allowed to sit on a sofa or lie on a bed like any other family member, and since they are the two cutest beagles that ever lived (this is fact, not opinion) they are impossible to say no to. If there are any puppy trainers out there reading this, I am hanging my head in shame! But, it is what it is.

Our beagles Baxter and Blossom

On further research, its seems I'm far from being the only indulgent dog owner out there. Take a look at these gorgeous dogs making themselves at home.

 How content does this dog look on this picture, first shared by Alyson Cotton.

 The country house- cozy & happy with a dog on the sofa

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 Of course, it could all go horribly wrong...... and you might end up with this....

 ....or even this!

And if you prefer your dogs  not to sleep on your best furniture, never fear, they will find somewhere equally comfortable ???  for a nap.....

Wishing you and your dogs and happy week ahead.

Till next time

Sharon x

Images via Tumblr and Pinterest.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

In Praise of Parquet

I hope you all had a happy Easter. We are having a busy time here. It is our 20th wedding anniversary tomorrow and my twins turn thirteen the day after. We will have 4 teenagers under one roof - interesting times ahead!


 Onto today's post .... when I was a student at UCT, I lived with a few other students in a communal house. The house was a typical suburban box with absolutely no redeeming features except the occupants :)  It did have parquet floors, but they were the type of small little blocks made from wood veneer in a reddish brown colour, that were truly ugly. Something like this.....

As a result, I was not a fan of parquet floors, until more recently when I came across much prettier examples. I decided to do some research into the origins of these floors.


 Parquet floors have actually been around since the late 1600's and have illustrious origins. Around this time, the homes of the wealthy and royalty consisted of marble slabs. This marble required constant washing which quickly lead to the rotting of the wooden joints underneath. Then in 1684, a new type of flooring was introduced in Versailles, France. This flooring was made by hand cutting small pieces of various colored hardwoods into geometric shapes using squares, triangles, and lozenges.
Glued to the concrete floor these hand cut pieces of wood were then scraped, scrubbed, sanded and polished. The designs created by installing the wooden floors this way was called Parquet and they were works of arts which took much time and skill to lay. This made these floors extremely expensive and they appeared only in the homes of the most affluent and royal families.

So feast your eyes on these lovely floors...


So what do you think ... are you a fan of parquet?

Till next time

Sharon x

Image Source: All images via Tumblr and Pinterest.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

An Enviable Life

I have absolutely no desire to be Kim or even Kate, but if I really wouldn't mind being Kelly. 

I think I have confused you..... so I'll elaborate.... I don't want to be Kim Kardashian or Kate Middleton, but I would very much like to be Kelly Fleming.

Who is Kelly Fleming, you might ask?

Kelly Fleming is the woman who gets to live in this beautiful home, in these beautiful surroundings, and, to crown it all, spends her days making wine! 

The owner of Kelly Fleming Wines built a French inspired house and winery in the beautiful Napa Valley region in 1998.

Both the home and winery are clad in ancient-looking limestone siding and topped with red-clay roof tiles imported from France. Both buildings have French terra-cotta floor pavers inside and out.


Kelly works closely with her daughter Colleen, running the business and handling much of the day to day work, while her son, Robert, handles sales and marketing.    

The interior of the house is quite simply furnished with neutral colours and some antique furniture and light fixtures in the mix. The overall impression is one of timeless good taste. 

Both the house and the winery feature oversized steel doors and windows that allow views onto the magnificent landscape beyond.

The kitchen is kept simple and uncluttered and has a wonderful flow to the outdoors.

The tasting room of the winery has an inviting feel and leads out onto a covered patio, again with a wonderful view.

So I think I would be very happy being Kelly. Do you want to be Kelly too, or are you more of a Kim or a Kate?

Till next time

Sharon x