A Day with Penelope Bianchi....

Have you ever spent time with someone you just met and felt like you have known them forever......

Well, I have....

Interior designer Penelope Bianchi is a free spirit that oozes creativity
She is the first one to admit that she can't draw a chair, but an artist she is.......
She creates visual portraits with her interiors. Everything about her is artistic, from how she dresses to how she expresses herself.  


As I drove up her driveway I knew why her home was voted one of the top 10 most romantic homes. Her and her husband had it built to look like a chateau in Europe.  

Penelope was surrounded by beautiful things as a child.
 Her early education of design was encouraged by her Mother. 
 Her Mother had black tie dinner parties every Friday night for twelve.
 Penny's Mother's home was an Italian Villa in Pasadena and at 6 years old Penny would rearrange her mothers living room


Penelope was an English major and started designing homes for her friends which blossomed into a lifetime design career. 


 As she was sharing her life with me.. I couldn't help noticing how I was surrounded by the most beautiful gardens and everywhere I turned there was something else to see.....oh my gosh....her home is even more beautiful in person than in these pictures.

I asked Penny if she could share with you some recommendations  on how to get started in design.... 

Here are some tips that Penny suggested...


Penny believes your born with an eye for design and and you can't learn it..... that its something your born with.....  She doesn't believe in going to design school...and feels it could stifle the creative process......


She recommends working for a designer who's work you like. 

Train your eye.....get your hands on as many design books as you can and study them.

Don't follow trends.....


A home needs to look collected.

Penelope's mother gave her one great tip.....
Don't ever give discounts.....
keep it professional!

As Penelope was showing me her house I couldn't help to notice how unique everything in her home was.
 It was a collected home...


I took this picture as I entered through the front door.....
It was a table in the middle of the room which had several different conversation areas..
Penny has slip covers for her furniture for every season...
 Which makes so much sense to me...
A lot of people and clients don't understand how color and seasons effect us....
Shoot, look how the moon effects the tide....
Our surroundings effects us emotionally.
The color of our home can effect our moods, how hungry we are...... it can effect our well being. Color has a psychological effect on us.


My favorite room was her bedroom.. 


I loved the sitting room that was connected to her bedroom. 
You could see her pond from the window.

She also showed me her closet....
I love this picture of all her shoes. 

This is her husbands closet....every mans dream. Everything right in front of their nose.


This is her how her dinning room looks most of the time......


But....when I was there she had all her decorating books out as if she had been looking through all of them, which I loved.....
 Her husband said that Penny owns every design book that was ever published and still collecting. 

Penny is a dog lover..this is one of her little pups.

I loved this bowl in her living room....
it was as though it was saying.....sit down make your self comfortable and have something to eat....
There's something about sitting together and breaking bread that forms a covenant between friends...


This is her kitchen photo from her web site.

This cart replaced the table that use to be in front of the window.
 I loved this cart...the color was wonderful and I loved her silverware in the baskets....

It looked like an art piece all on its own..

Remember these.....they were for candles, but look how Penny used it.....Great idea!

The Lanterns are copies of a lantern belonging to "Sister Parish"; (it was in her estate auction) and copied by John Rosseli. 
 Bunny Williams worked for "Sister Parish" for 20 plus years, and is married to John Rosseli!



These wonderful images were in her husbands office.....they told the story of Adam and Eve. They are antique copper etchings by the artist, Ridinger. They also were purchased through John Rosseli.

Here is a close up of Adam and Eve in the garden..

This is the little guest cottage....it was so quaint and charming. 

I had a wonderful day with Penny...
We went to lunch at the Coral Casino and she drove me around Montecito and showed me all the homes she loved.
 It was fun to talk about design and our goals as designers.
 I just was so mad at myself...I forgot to get a picture of myself with Penny! 
Oh well, next time....

 Penny has a blog and a website.....She has a great post about here slipcovers.. go here...
Hope you enjoyed learning more about Penny and seeing her home. 
Thanks for stopping by...

Source....some pictures were taken from Penelope's web site and myself.


  1. Such a fun post...How about that window above her bed!!! And the silverware on display...I do that with teaspoons, but this really has me inspired. Didn't you feel like you had a mini vacation in the south of France?

  2. I LOVE this home. Absolutely gorgeous and so cozy. The garden pond won my heart!!
    Happy Monday!

  3. Oh My God. This is SOOOO beautiful! What an awesome post!!

  4. Hi Ladies, Thank you so much for this tour of Penny's house! It is positively otherworldly. I love the exterior and grounds as well. What a treat!

  5. what a breathtaking property!

    thanks for sharing her with us.


  6. Penny's home is charming. I love spaces that have stories to tell. Her bedroom is my favorite!

  7. Penelope is so classy and gracious.....you can just tell! I love her style, point of view and honesty! Many thanks for this lovely profile and tour. Enjoyed it!!

  8. Ladies I adore Penelope and her home is indeed a fabulous and ever changing work of art! Thank you for sharing!

    2012 Artists Series,
    Art by Karena

  9. This was so fantastic. I love her reading her thoughts on everything. She grew up with black tie dinner parties....crazy chic! I would not have been able to leave those gardens.

  10. I love how comfortable and cozy her home looks. How fun.

  11. I adore Penelope and her home is indeed a fabulous and ever changing work of art! Thank you for sharing

  12. she is adorable and her home is magical!

  13. It's truly enchanting, makes you so curious what you'll find around the next corner ~ what a delight she and her home are! Thanks for sharing the tour!

  14. Penny is such a treasure! Loved taking tour of her house with you! Spontaneous and free are the words that comes to mind when I look at the pictures.


  15. You had me at the courtyard! Penelope's home is fabulous and I thank you both for taking us along on your tour. Glad it was such a nice visit!


  16. How cool is she? Very cool that you got to meet her. I'm with Debra - loved the courtyard and her bedroom. I saw that bedroom on Tumblr or somewhere before and loved it. Had no idea it was hers! Such a fun post. xo

  17. Wow!! She seems as lovely as her home. I am obsessed with the turquoise cafe chairs and I love her advice. Thank you for sharing it with us :)

  18. So many inspiring ideas! What a treat! Love the leopard window seat with all the vintage tapestry pillows...love the candle mold as service for the silver ware....that entrance gate......ahhhhhh back to my humble abode!!

  19. Wow everything is so beautiful. She is really talented, what a fun visit that must have been. Merry Christmas.

  20. Penny is one of the most generous, talented people I know.
    We met through blogging, and she has become a wonderful friend and mentor.

    Thank you for sharing your day with us. Isn't her home amazing? She has created heaven.


  21. Wow... Here's what I can tell you about what I feel when I see these pictures... I feel spending a week, just exploring every inch of this home. There's so much to see, to feel, to learn from.

    It's pure comfort, pure enchantment.

    GREAT POST! Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us!


    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

  22. What an incredible day you had with Penny! Such a treat to be able to visit with her and see her amazing home in person.

  23. I enjoyed this tour and hearing about this wonderful designer so much and could not agree more with her philosophy on design!

  24. Wow beautiful! I felt like I was there myself. Lots of great pictures with detail.

  25. I so enjoyed all the pictures, especially the ones I hadn't seen before. The beauty of her home is so wonderful I could live with it to T. Having slipcovers for every season is genius. I shall have to do that for my house. ;)


  26. Me too, girl crush on Penelope Bianchi.

    I can hear ya'll walking on the gravel paths.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

    1. there was lots of crunching on the gravel paths.......how on earth do we spread the word about gravel in stead of "hardscape??? Lordy!l!!!
      Need a terrace over here? Get a load of gravel! My hero gardener gets the wheelbarrow; spreads it around
      Bingo! New terrace!!
      100 dollars? (Tara you correct me)!
      Permeable.....rain and irrigation go into the groundwater.......plants LOVE gravel........everyone wins!
      Especially the husband with the checkbook!
      Lucky me with the darling Julie!
      I love "ya'll"!!!

      My mother was from "Alabama" ; Birmingham, in fact. She moved to California at twelve; she never lost her "kind of faint" accent!
      Southerners always recognized it right away!

      (California is the one place in the country that "has no accent" supposedly)!

      I got off the plane in New Orleans.......and I felt it in my body. Seriously. My DNA is from the South!

  27. I too met her through the BLOG LIFE!I too adored everything you did!Especially, the forks,spoons and knives in the candle mold!I only got 20 minutes with her and you had an entire day!You captured her home beautifully!!!!!!!

    1. Next time; Contessa........you have to "stay awhile "!!

      Thank you!

  28. I, too, love Penelope. She & I enjoy the same type of things...and jewelry !!

    1. OH Lordy! Your jewelry!

      Divine beyond!!

  29. Hi! Thanks for this tour. So beautiful! Penelope has such a great eye and every single part of her home shows it.

    I know of her from John Kelsey of Wilson Kelsey Design - but your post helped me to know her better!



  30. Thank you for the tour. I've admired Penelope Bianchi and her lovely home forever. If I was brave enough, I would knock on her door, as I feel like she is a kindred spirit! Thanks for showing us her lovely world. Sigh....~Delores

  31. Omigosh! Julie! I just read this again all these years later. Tears in my eyes!

    I send so much love to you; thank you for this beautiful post. I appreciate it more than I can say!!


  32. So artistic decoration and placement. All the items in the room look perfect match to sparkle their own beauties and values. I love you decor ideas. Seriously your collection was brilliant. I was wordless but profoundly impressed what you gifted to us. I also would like to share windows and doors schomberg that is the number one source for high-quality windows and doors replacement in Toronto and the GTA. From casement, awning and double hung to picture, bay and bow, you’ll find great products for your home at VR Windows & Doors. We also have many stylish entry door options for you to discover, including front doors, storm doors, French patio doors, and much more.


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