Sara Tofanelli-Barroso

Sara Tofanelli-Barroso Sara grew up in Chico, California.  She started working in the family business (Nantucket Home) at a young age.  She learned the family business, learned to save and learned to travel with her savings.  After high school she left Chico to live in Italy and travel throughout Europe.  It was here that her love for food, coffee, language and culture flourished.  Upon returning, she attended Chico State, met her future husband, John (who was also intrigued with traveling), graduated with a degree in English Literature and Italian and left Chico with him to live and work in Torino, Italy.  Sara currently is the ‘shopkeeper’ at Nantucket Home.  She spends her time away from work playing with her children, dogs, and husband.  And whenever she can find spare time she enjoys reading her favorite blogs on everything from design to food to lifestyle.

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San Francisco Market

07 Jan 2011
Our FurnitureOur Home AccessoriesOur Stories posted by Sara Tofanelli-Barroso

Nan and I came down to the city today to go to the pre-show of the SF International Gift Fair.  We left Chico when it was still foggy and enjoyed the mysterious views of the county roads before the intrigue faded away.

We missed our I-505 turn-off but still made it to Berkeley on time to pick up Robin, who was joining us for the weekend to offer her advice in finding the best pieces for our showroom.

Crossing the bridge... to market....
and to our delight, running in to fellow Chicoan and past Nantucketonian, Joni German. Joni was at the show promoting her company, Old River Road, which is always a hit with big names such as Williams Sonoma. We sell her wonderful French inspired blackboards at NH.  After chatting at bit about her new product (which will be out soon), we headed off to find Scott. 

Scott ,who is our Chinese antique connection, goes to China at least once a month in the search of unique pieces to bring home to us.  All of his pieces are immersed in tradition and history... and Scott knows the details of every last found object.  We're excited to show you images of all of the cool pieces we're getting in but it'll have to wait for another post.  We're beat and have a long day ahead of us tomorrow. 

- Sara

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Our Projects posted by Sara Tofanelli-Barroso

Last Sunday at 4pm, the quasi finale of a relaxing 3 day weekend, just 2 hours before dinner was to be served and in the middle of a wearisome argument about how we can solve our kitchen and bath issues (with my father mediating), John and my mom decided to start right away to un-complicate our living space.

One of John’s biggest frustrations is that we had toys in every room in our house.  I didn’t think it was that awful but I could understand his annoyance.  Of course, any time I cleaned up the toys they’d be played with and all over the house 2 minutes later… a never-ending mess.  And as anyone with a small home knows, there’s no room for clutter.  With small homes less is better…Ideally, keeping the design aesthetics to a simplistic minimum.

So it began.  Our room was the biggest so the boys should enjoy it and fill it with their beds and their toys.  Their room was the smallest.  John and I don’t really need a lot of space in our bedroom… maybe just enough for a night stand and a laundry basket.  So why not make the switch?

This was their room before.



As you can see it was small but it worked.  However, we had a train table set up as a coffee table in the office, a few Ikea storage bins for cars, crafts and random toy parts also in the office, a firehouse and police station in the boys room and the legos that Luca received from Santa hadn't yet found a home (other than the dining table).  So here's a glimpse at the semi-final project...

To obtain more space we decided to close off one of the 4 doors in this room (yes, both rooms have 4 doors!).  It's behind the white bookcase and it lead through my closet to our new bedroom. It's been an adjustment not being able to use it but we should've done it years ago for the space we've gained.  

And it was such an eventful evening (and possibly traumatic for Rocco) that he needed to sleep with his brother. Such troopers!

I'll post pictures of how our room transformed soon!

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January Pipe Dreams

04 Jan 2011
Our Favorite PlacesOur DesignersOur Stories posted by Sara Tofanelli-Barroso

As the Holiday Season draws to a close, we are all left with that feeling of “what’s next”. What do I do to fill the gaps left after all of the holiday parties, visits with families and friends, and the overabundance of desserts and drinks? Do I want to start exercising, dieting, cleaning out my closets, rearranging the furniture, taking a college class or two or writing in a diary (from the time I was 9 or 10 until my mid teens, I always asked for a diary for Christmas. I would usually get one and write

long paragraphs for the first two week of the year. Sometimes I would pick it up and write again in the summer when I was bored but more than likely, I would never write in it again. Oh, how I wish I had a full year of adolescent thoughts to look back on now!)

No, what I really start thinking of is; why didn’t I plan for a vacation in a warm place in January? I usually have good intentions. Somewhere around the middle of October I think about making plans.. I get all excited looking at websites of various locations. I get on VRBO and look at beautiful homes right smack on the beach. I might even post a few inquiries about availabilities....

but that’s usually where I end it. Then I get caught up in clients’ orders, the end of our Home Sale, getting Christmas décor out in the showroom and that’s it…until January, when the rain or the fog or the cold knocks the idea back in my head and it is too late to make any plans. It doesn’t matter that I have hundreds of thousands of “free” air miles. Just try to get a reservation to any tropical beach location in January. Actually from now until after spring break, those destinations are pretty much pipe dreams.

Okay, now is the time to make the plans for next year. But plan a YEAR in advance? Who am I kidding? I’m spontaneous, I’d rather stay up all night working the internet trying to get two seats together to La Grande Playa and feel that I have actually worked for this vacation! 

Now I just need to find a pet sitter….

- Nan

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