One of those times was as the Santa Ynez Valley home featured this week in the L.A. Times Home Section: Pastures that echo the South of France.
I visited this property in 2003 to write an article about it for Santa Barbara Magazine (pictured here).
The home’s owner is furniture designer Hélène (pronounced EY-len) Aumont, and it’s a rustic yet cultured 1940s farmhouse. She lived there at the time with her now-ex-husband Patrick, and a few darling offspring. Of course, they were making cookies when I arrived.
My envy was painful. The objects of desire:
• Extensive gravel pathways. Ah, the sounds of crunching!
• Lavender everywhere
• Horses and a barn
• A living room that feels like a French apartment
• Several covered porches
• The white kitchen with a marble countertop fashioned from an antique pool table top
Ironically, as I review photos of Helene’s home, I realize I’m going in that same direction of a white and luminescent kitchen.
My current thinking: Don’t get so caught up envy (on those rare occasions I experience it) and feel ashamed of it and try to shut it down. Rather, ask myself:
What is so beguiling about this place? And how can I create some of this for myself?
See a photo gallery of the gardens in the Home Section
(Photos: Hélène Aumont)