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Petaluma Ranch Home

Part 1 of II. Next week see the rest of this property, including a guest house, and meet the farm animals!

On my drive up to the ranch I pass a pasture of cows. During the 19th century this land was dotted with live stock for miles on end. General Vallejo received a grant from the Mexican government for Rancho Petaluma, an area that included 33,000 acres! By 1845, Vallejo owned 10,000 head of cattle, 24,000 sheep, and several large herds of horses.

The ranch I’m visiting today is much smaller of course. I drive ten minutes off the main road arriving at a secluded plot of land owned by, Patti Schofler. A one woman dynamo Patti  harvests grapes from her vineyard, tends to her vegetable garden, and cares for her small flock of animals including; a horse, two donkeys and a couple of cats. Patti is a writer/ publicist as well as occasionally acting as a judge at dressage schooling shows. I had to look this last one up. What the heck are dressage schooling shows? Of course horse folk know what this is but for those of us less familiar with the world of mares, stallions, fillies and colts this sort of language is foreign. From what I gather dressage school shows are more or less a casual horse show. At these horse shows you can leave the Versace wide brimmed hat at home, arriving instead in a pair of  jeans.

Photos by Indra Fortney, copyright applies.

We have a poser.

A curious stampede begins to gather. At first when I take out my camera they back off but then inquisitiveness takes over. By the time I get back in my car fifteen cows have surrounded me.

The ranch. Not your typical farmhouse.

Garden entrance.

Pinot Noir grapes.

House entrance, kitchen on the left.

Open floor plan, kitchen view with sweeping views into the living and dining area. The color scheme is neutral and organic encouraging your eye to travel to the view.

A pair of club chairs create symmetry echoed by flanking built in bookcases.

Rustic pine furniture lends a casual feel and the light wood floor give the rooms a light and spacious feel.

Outside a long porch runs the length of the house. Patti say’s, “Life in this house is about looking out the windows, they shape or frame scenarios about how the house fits into the land. This place is about the history of the people that have lived here before, going back a century, and added their personalities to the house and the land. It’s important to live in a beautiful place. It’s good for you.”

Cozy little seating area off the kitchen, a perfect place to browse through a book while dinner is cooking.

Heading down the hall…

Simple country bathroom with rod pocket curtain.

Sweet little guest room. A corner window and wainscoting make this small space special.

Master bathroom with luxurious soaking tub.

Master bedroom. I love the latch window.

Patti has new adventures awaiting her. She has decided to sell the ranch and open the next chapter of her life, whatever that may be.

Sonoma Style: Beautiful wine country home

Continuing our home tour from last week.

This house is listed with Kirsten Lindquist. Photography copyright  Indra Fortney.

Vineyard across the street.

Cozy bedroom. Lucky guests get a glimpse of vineyards from their window.

Delicious yellow bathroom.

Simple white pull down roller shade is the provides a nice clean look and feel in the bathroom.

Mixing lampshades is a fun way to bring variety into a bedroom, usually it’s a good idea to make sure they are the same height, this way it feels less hodgepodge.

A peek into the master bath.

The mirror echoes the vertical window, nice replication.

Nothing like a soaking tub and a crystal chandelier for pure luxury.

White tile combined with white marble counter tops, clean and elegant.

Patio off the bath.

Garden serenity.

Shower serenity.

Sliding barn door, slate floor.

Life inside Finland: Helsinki Homes (part II)

I’m happy to be living once again in California, luxuriating in sunny days, but sometimes I long for the quiet that comes with snow. I miss those magical moments in time when the city I lived in turned into a tranquil wonderland of white. I lived in Helsinki Finland for three years, trying in vain to learn the language, walking more than I ever have in my life and experiencing the Finnish home through the camera lens.  These are photos I took while I was living in Helsinki, working as a real estate photographer. The people portrait photos are from Hel Looks – in incredibly addictive site documenting street fashion in Helsinki.

Friday I will post a rich estate home located in the charming town of St. Helena.

Photos (excluding fashion photos) by Indra Fortney.

An infusion of spring at the tram stop. I loved these green trams which snake around the city like friendly caterpillars.

Kerrastalo -apartment building.

rivitalo- connected houses.

Fashion forward. Sprinkled throughout the city are seamstress shops, inside the owner is often hard at work, seated at the sewing machine, producing one-of-a-kind garments.

Life inside Finland: Helsinki homes

I’m happy to be living once again in California, luxuriating in sunny days, but sometimes I long for the quiet that comes with snow. I miss those magical moments in time when the city I lived in turned into a tranquil wonderland of white. I lived in Helsinki Finland for three years, trying in vain to learn the language, walking more than I ever have in my life and experiencing the Finnish home through the camera lens.  These are photos I took while I was living in Helsinki, working as a real estate photographer. The people portrait photos are from Hel Looks – in incredibly addictive site documenting street fashion in Helsinki.

Next Finnish home feature on Monday.

Hel Looks.

Photos by Indra Fortney.

Paritalo – duplex home. It was two years before we had a car in Finland so I took public transportation everywhere. Lugging a massive camera case I traveled via tram, bus and sometimes train to get to these suburbs. Often I was lost, wandering down a tree banked road with snow up to my ankles, wondering in a surreal kind of way how I ended up here!

Clean and simple.

Packed subway. The outside of the entire train is laminated in faces, an advertisement campaign for the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper.

Kerrastalo- apartment building.

Bedrooms: where dreams come to rest

The bedroom, our sanctuary. Peeling back fresh sheets to climb inside a comfy bed is the days-end luxury. New Posts every Friday.

A study in gray. Bedrooms I photographed while living in Finland.

A simple treat: A tray for tea and snacks.

A good idea: Additional throw blankets. This light and airy white one is from IKEA.

Extra cozy: A reading corner in the bedroom.

Inspiration from Pinrest

Clever: A blackboard to jot down daily ideas.

Keep it simple: For a fresh feel allow for empty wall space.

Color palette ideas.


Art Idea: Frame a map of your favorite place

Hang your shoes up!

A white room gives high contrast for a fun splash of color.

Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is the fairest bedroom of all?

Mirrors from Kings Lane.


Looking to spruce up an old bed, or find just the right sheets for a new one? Visit K & Co for more bedding .

Keep it fresh! A vase of flowers gives your eye a pretty view to greet in the morning. Photo by Maria Nadel

Give your dreams creative inspiration, rotate artwork in the bedroom. Maggie&Sparrow

Minagraphy